Logo degrowth
Scientific paper


The Commons: A Social Form that Allows for Degrowth and Sustainability

Johannes Euler

Entry type:
Scientific paper

Year of publication:

Taylor & Francis Online


External content:
To the content

Commons, sustainability, capitalism, collective action, degrowth

Abstract: This theoretical article opens with the reconstruction of a value-critical argument which claims that capitalism is a form of society that is structurally unsustainable. The reason for this is the need for ever-increasing value production which stems from the core of capitalism (the commodity form, competition, profit maximization, private production) and its internal and external limits. Based on this, the article calls for a fundamental social transformation and positions the commons as a social form that has the potential to replace the commodity form as societal foundation. Constituted by social practices (commoning) that are based on voluntariness, autonomy and needs-satisfaction, commons do not have an inbuilt growth compulsion. Therefore, the article concludes, the commons may enable humanity to deal with the question of sustainability on the basis of social structures that include the possibility of a solution.

Share on the corporate technosphere