In his latest book, The Value of Nothing, Raj Patel explores the failures of so-called free market capitalism, and highlights some of the ways people are changing the democratic system.
...the commons have always been a way that the community can value and manage resources together in a way that doesn't rely on markets, but does rely on a more engaged kind of community democracy. The commons [also] offers a great way of internalizing externalities. If you live with the consequences of your actions, then your learn from your actions in the future and modify them to make your actions sustainable. At the moment our food system is entirely unsustainable, and we do need to be living within our means. And I think the food movement is kind of heading that way much faster than any other sector of the economy.