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The Commons Moment is Now

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Social change is not something easily diagrammed on a chart. Sweeping transformations that rearrange the workings of an entire culture begin imperceptibly, quietly but steadily entering people's minds until one day it seems the ideas were there all along. Even in our age of instantaneous information-when a scrap of information can zoom around the globe in mere seconds, people's world views still evolve quite gradually.


Learning from the Right

This is exactly how the paradigm of corporate power came to rule the world. First articulated in large part by an obscure circle of Austrian economists, it surfaced in the United States during the 1950s as a curious political sideshow promoted by figures such as novelist Ayn Rand and her protégé Alan Greenspan.

The notion of the market as the bedrock of all social policy entered mainstream debate during the Goldwater campaign in 1964, which appeared to mark both its debut and its demise. Despite Republicans' spectacular defeat in elections that fall-which extended from the White House all the way to local races-small bands of pro-market partisans refused to accept the unpopularity of their theories. Instead, they boldly launched a new movement that would eventually turn American life upside down.

Bankrolled by wealthy backers who understood that modern politics is a battle of ideas, market champions shed their image as fusty reactionaries swimming against the tide of progress and gradually refashioned themselves as visionaries charting a bold course for the future. 


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