When the economic and financial storm broke, the Italian government asked the collectivity to come together to defend capital and the international financial powers by satisfying their thirst for privatization. The government plan was to sell off the country’s common patrimony, starting with water services and other local utilities, which would have been obliged to open to private shareholders. The Italian people, on the contrary, answered by coming together to defend the commons, voting en masse in June 2011 at the referendum called by the social movements against the privatization of the management of water and other local services of general interest. Ninety-five percent of those voting voted against allowing a profit to be made from managing a commons. This vote was against privatization but also against the old public model, which has at this time been completely subjected to and aligned with private and market reasoning. The exploitation of the common realm as a whole (both material and nonmaterial) thus constitutes the heart of capitalist accumulation and directs new waves of enclosures.

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