Humans cannot control matsutake. Waiting to see if mushrooms might emerge is thus an existential problem. The mushrooms remind us of our dependence on more-than-human natural processes: we can't fix anything, even what we have broken ourselves. Yet this need not enforce paralysis. Some Japanese volunteers make themselves part of perhaps-useful landscape disturbance as they wait to see what happens. They hope their actions might stimulate a latent commons, that is, an eruption of share assembly, even as they know they can't actually make a commons.
A detour through the issue of matsutake incomes can help me generalise the point that private assets most always grow out of unacknowledged commons. Privatisation is never complete; it needs shared spaces to create any value. That is the secret of property's continuing theft – but also its vulnerability. Consider again matsutake as a commodity, ready to be sent from Yunnan to Japan. What we have is mushrooms, that is, fruiting bodies of underground fungi. The fungi require the traffic of the commons to flourish; no mushrooms emerge without forest disturbance. The privately owned mushroom is an offshoot from a communally living underground body, a body forged through the possibilities of latent commons, human and not human. That it is possible to cordon off the mushroom as an asset without taking its underground commons into account is both the ordinary way with privatisation and a quite extraordinary outrage, when you stop to think about it. The contrast between private mushrroms and fungi-forming forest traffic might be an emblem for commoditisation more generally: the continual, never-finished cutting off of entanglement.