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Ernest Dichter applied what he dubbed "the strategy of desire" for building a "stable society," by creating for the public a common identity through the products they consumed; again, much like with cultural commodification, where culture has no "identity," "meaning," or "history" inherited from previous generations, but rather, is created by the attitudes which are introduced by consumer behaviors and social patterns of the period. According to Dichter, "To understand a stable citizen, you have to know that modern man quite often tries to work off his frustrations by spending on self-sought gratification. Modern man is internally ready to fulfill his self-image, by purchasing products which compliment it."
Here is where civil society can learn from commons groups the importance of involving resource users in the process of production. As noted earlier, the commons involve producers who consume their own goods. When resource users are also co-producers, their motivations, knowledge and skills become part of the production praxis, leading to new ways of interacting and coordinating social and economic life. A new production and governance logic of learning-by-doing then becomes possible. Civil society could apply this principle in its own work by embracing these innovative means of co-production and co-governance. 4 For example, emerging forms of peer-to-peer creativity and management – such as free software, open hardware groups and the horizontalist decision-making demonstrated by Occupy Wall Street – can teach civil society organizations how to adopt open source (rather than market-driven) values and structures. By operating both as resource users and as producers, enabling local stakeholders to develop their own political power, civil society groups could expand the scope of collective rights, moral legitimacy and civic power that exists beyond the state. Through discovering their necessary role in the global commons movement, the world’s civil society organizations would develop a more dynamic basis for collective action, social solidarity and direct democracy than currently exists.