Free, Fair and Alive presents a foundational re-thinking of the commons by offering a compelling vision of a future beyond the specious binary of capitalism versus socialism that has almost brought the world to its knees. Written by two leading commons activists of our time, this guide is filled with readable and colorful stories.

Coverage includes:

  • Internal dynamics of commoning
  • How the commons worldview opens up new possibilities for change
  • Role of language in reorienting our perceptions and political strategies
  • Seeing the potential of commoning everywhere.

Free, Fair and Alive provides a fresh, non-academic synthesis of contemporary commons written for a popular, activist-minded audience. It presents a compelling narrative: that we can be free and creative people, govern ourselves through fair and accountable institutions, and experience the aliveness of authentic human presence.

Praise for Free, Fair and Alive


“David Bollier and Silke Helfrich don’t just establish that commoning can work, and work well. They’ve analysed the contours of successful experiments in how humans have come together to make their worlds freer, fairer and more alive. This book is an expansive, thorough, and deeply thoughtful guide to a possible future politics. All that remains is for us to take up their call: not to do it ourselves, but to do it together.”

Raj Patel, author ‘The Value of Nothing and Stuffed and Starved’