I first want to admit that my intellect is not bright enough to follow the depths of your article. I just want to make a short comment.
“For example, it is now clear that Europe and the U.S. workers face a full onslaught of extreme neoliberalism, with a substantial loss of income levels, welfare and social protections.”
I here want to add that the working class has not just lost their income and services from the welfare state. They are also facing that they are now living in a world where all physical interactions, the old and pre-welfare-state security network, as described in A Pattern Language by Alexander, are gone. So people are facing a double tragedy, as both the monetary security and the security of social interactions, are gone. This is a terrible situation!
By the way, lots of these people are coming to Norway these times, as a safe haven. I deliver goods at construction places now and then, and I hardly never hear the Norwegian language anymore. The same with restaurants. Also Oslo is the fastest growing city in Europe, and our population will increase with 1 million people the next 20 years if the current trend continues. Only because of immigration, as our birthrates should have given a slightly population decrease.
The welfare state is very strong here, while Sweden and Denmark are cutting down their services, they are growing here. F.ex. in Sweden you don’t get payed the first day off your work when sick, and I think I heard after that you only get 80 %. Here you get a 100 % cover from the first day.
As the welfare state is so strong here, I think the commons will have a hard way to find fertile soil in my country.
I hope to someday work up a blogpost like something as Integrative Ecosocial Design as an Alternative to the Scandinavian Welfare Model. I’ve thought out some points that are negative about our model, but maybe I’ve already forgotten them?
1) It’s an expert rule where people become clients. These experts create complicated systems that need more experts, and so on.
2) Experts want the system to be depended upon their expertise, and oppress self-organization and interaction systems, where people deal with their problems on a peer-to-peer basis. Unfortunately the welfare state is a large system created from above, and therefore must ignore details of human welfare on the smaller and smallest scales, as these can only be seen from “below” or from the inside. This is a tragedy, as in people system design as in architecture the smallest scales is the human scale, where humans interact with the world in their daily lives. A top-down system has no possibility to deal with the human scale.
3) Any system that is not fractal, not obeying the universal scaling law (from architecture, but valid for any sustainable system) of systems and sub-systems, claims huge amounts of energy to survive. The Scandinavian welfare model needs enormous amounts of energy, I believe this is because it’s not fractal and not self-organized.
4) It’s a 100 percent monetary system, and human interactions on a personal level are not needed when human needs are monetized. It’s not that they disappear completely, but these interactions tend to be superficial. Loneliness follows.