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[jox] A Response to Jean ZIn

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(another bounce)

-------- Original Message --------
Date: Aug 24, 2011 12:05:26 PM
Subject: BOUNCE journal    Non-member submission from [Michel Bauwens <michel>]
To: journal-approval

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thanks for sharing this Mathieu some comments inline ..

Hello and thank you for the proposal, however, if I support P2P and like
Michel Bauwens in particular, I am far from sharing the P2P Utopia
specifically with regard to currencies and politics.

would be interesting to know what he means with utopias regarding currencies
... ; if he means a sole reliance of monetary transformation as a way out of
capitalism, I agree, as transforming monetary logics and creating peer-based
monetary alternatives is just part of a broader mix; if he means a continued
reliance on compound interest, bank credit money creation, I'd of course
disagree ..  I'm pretty sure that with Utopia he is referring to those
people who think that local currencies and/or free software will solve all
societal issues ..

Where I differ is is the insistence on local, close relations and face to
face democracy. One of the great differences between municipality and
network, is that one does not choose one's neighbors, which forces us to
engage in politics (difference of the local currencies with free

I think it is fairly easy to connect local and free currencies with a
preferential option for selective localization ('smart deglobalization'
wherever appropriate and necessary) ; in fact, I think personally what needs
to be stressed is the necessary combination of place and networks, i.e.
using networks to localize physical production, to globalize scientific and
cultural innovation through non-local cooperation of shared knowlegde, code
and design; and to keep using global organizational infrastructures (and not
just local ones), based for example on the concept of 'phyles'

I do believe there is a Communism of knowledge and that free software is an
essential dimension of our future, I do not believe one can generalize a
model which holds only through technical constraints and the complexity
involved. There is a plurality of economies, modes of production, of markets
and networks. Peer production is probably reserved to a certain elite, to
the most autonomous, but I would rather defend the mediation by third-party
institutions such as municipal co-operatives intended to develop

I think he's got it wrong there, personally, immaterial cooperation is not
limited to an elite, it is perfectly possible for farmers and 'material
workers' to share their knowledge in a commons

So an important place should be given to free software and the digital
exemption from payment but which cohabits as well in a plural economy with
remunerated autonomous work, work for associations / NGOs as well as
wage-earning in the commercial sector.


Often complexity is used to confuse everything in an unorganized chaos
which is called self-organization and which then puts everyone at the same
level whereas there is in living complexity several levels of organization
and of differentiation which cannot be fitted in a standard and universal
model (the nervous system is not the blood or immune systems). It is to
better to test the limits of a model to improve its pertinence than to want
to extend it beyond its own field. The disadvantage is that one then loses
all the  messianic enthusiasm with the utopian dimension. One thus loses the
political and revolutionary character of P2P, unless one integrates it into
a political project, not as subversive in itself but as integrated into a
coherent alternative system.

fully agree ..

It is a little like guaranteed income which is not revolutionary in itself
but only if it integrated into a complete system of production integrating
production, circulation, distribution, which I show in particular in
"Changing production systems" where guaranteed income, local currencies and
municipal co-operatives work together for a relocalised economy in the
digital era.<>

interesting approach, but I have my own doubts on this stress on
municipalism ... in my experience, there is very little traction for this
... people are no longer so attrached to this specific local level but as
part of a mix of different geographical levels ... why not ..

Apart from that, of course all my texts can be reused (they are in
copyleft) and I would be delighted if they were translated.


Jean Zin


On 08/24/11, Mathieu ONeil  <mathieu.oneil> wrote:
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Hi Jakob,

I agree with some things you say below, for example one possible role of
the journal being to say "there is an alternative".  Others however strike
me as trying to fit reality into a preconceived model, for example  I'm
pretty sure quite a few people on this list would not define peer production
as always "horizontal", and personally I am unclear to what extent the
reference to dialectical thinking is 100% necessary, because it gives the
impression that there are unbending laws of nature and history.

In terms of membership in the scientific committee, I think you have
shown by your statements regarding peer production on this list and by your
stated willingness to contribute to the journal that you would be a valuable
addition, so unless anyone objects I will add your name to our list.

[ All: this reminds me that we do not have urls of research pages for
members, if there is a particular one you would like to have included please
send it me to offlist, apologies if you already did so]

In terms of contributing to the project, you have already provided a
title of the second issue - productive negation! We can certainly discuss
special issues, but right now I would prefer to focus on the upcoming second

My gut feeling is that at this stage of development it would be good to
have a more fully fleshed out statement of purpose / editorial that would
reflect the ideas of (some of the) journal members regarding the
P2P/capitalism issue. As a base for this text we could use the statements
below by you, me and Matt, as well as taking into account a soon-to-be
posted message by Jean Zin. In terms of the P2P/capitalism relationship he
argues that reality is / will be made
up of different production systems. Drafting a collective text would
allow us to confront ideas productively and come up with a statement which
we could then invite others to contribute to. An alternative to this would
be having a debate section around these issues but I think the impact of
having already arrived at a synthesis would be greater.



On 08/21/11, Jakob Rigi  <rigij> wrote:
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Hi Matt, and Mathieu and all,

First, a point in response to Matt in relation to binary thinking. I
agree that binary thinking in the strucuralist sense of the word is not
useful. But productive negation is both negative and positive. It is not
binary, it is dialectical. We negate the capitalist relation of production
but keep its forces of production and re-organize them in p2p relations of
production (voluntary horizental cooperation+ commons[p2p mode of
distribution)].  In binary thinking the opposite of A is not -A. Not -A
depends for its identity on A. But peer production does not depends on
capitalism for its identity, this identity is defined by its own mode of
productivity. In this sense as Matt says capitalism is not relevant for P2P
production.  The domestic mode of production, feudal  mode of production and
p2p production are all not capitalism. However,  P2p production is
distinguished from other non- capitalist mode of productions by being the
form of production that corresponds to IT, and h
  ce has a future orientation. It is the negation of capitalism in the
same way as the future is the negation of the present. In any case p2p
production is  something more than being merely not capitalism. Its
horizental  form of cooperation and its  universal form  of property
separate it from capitalism. In its initial phase , which we live through,
p2p MOP relies on capitalism and capitalism is its context. Capitalism also
exploit it to extract value.  But there is a competition and contradiction
between these two modes of production. This contradiction can be approached
analytically on different levels of abstractions the most significant of
which are : the levels of production, level of political struggle and the
level of culture and values.

On the level of production, there is a competition for productive
forces between capitalism and p2p modes of production. To the extent that
productive forces (humans, nature and technology) are  organized under p2p
production capitalist mode of production and the market will shrink. If we
think globally, we have  limited productive force (number of productive
individuals, natural and technological resources). There will not be two
parallel  forces of production one for capitalism the other for p2p
production. Land and nature which for ever will remain the main basis of any
production are scarce. With expansion of p2p production they need to be
transformed to commons, save for the small plots of land that individuals
appropriate/fence for private uses. We may compare this with growth of the
capitalist mode of production within the feudal mode mode of production.
Today the capitalist mode of production dominates the whole world, while in
the 16 century there were just a few E
  lish  farmers who produced things in a capitalist way. In a long
historical period p2p production cannot grow together. The growth of one
undermines and hinder the growth of the other. Capitalism without growth is
unimaginable, it will run into crisis.

The translation of this contradiction into the  level politics is a
complex issue. On the one hand the horizental structure of the p2p
production negates any top-down form of governmentality (whether of the
state, capital, UN, or NGOs). But from this we  cannot conclude that some
states, UN, particular NGOs or even capitalists will not be interested in
promoting p2p production. Some major capitalist companies are involved in
the p2p production. This bring me to Mathieu's concrete proposals which I
totally agree with. We need, as Matheiu suggests,  to focus on concrete and
empirically graspable phenomena which are immediately relevant to the p2p
production. But the idea  of the principal contradiction between capitalism
and p2p may help us to relate our researches and debates on these concrete
issues to a universal non-capitalist p2p horizon in the future. While we
work on issues that are relevant here and now, I think it would be  also a
good thing to  have a direction. Lo
  , in the context of current crisis even numerous capitalists pundits
agree that capitalism is profoundly harmful to humanity, but then they add,
"there is no alternative". The try to sell capitalism to the rest of
humanity as a necessary evil. They equate it to human nature. It is shameful
to equate greed, crisis, war and destruction of nature to humanity.  We can
hold p2p production in the front of their eyes as a viable alternative. P2p
production is an empirically materialized  example of an alternative world,
more favorable to humans, animals, plants and nature in general. what is
good about P2P production is not that it is not an utopian  design of some
visionary thinker but has emerged from the productive practice of producers

Of course, I do not suggest that this should be the direction of the
Journal.  The Journal, perhaps, needs a more open publication policy that
accommodate  a broad range of views, including this one.

Mathieu, thanks a lot for inviting me to do something. I am really
flattered,  I am interested in doing a special issue on comparing
pre-capitalist, capitalist and p2p modes of production. If you or others,
propose that I do another topic I will consider your proposals. Meanwhile I
am more than willing to review articles for the journal.
all the best

Mathieu ONeil  08/20/11 5:37 AM >>>
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Hi Matt,

Thanks for commenting, though I don't really agree with you when you
reject binaries because my understanding of "critique" is similar to
Jakob's, critique = negation of something, being against something, in this
case commons vs. private property, so there is a "struggle" there for want
of a better word.

That being said I agree that it may not be that urgent to think about
capitalism, it's just there and we have to deal with it practically. For me
it's the practical, concrete articulations and oppositions between
capitalism and peer production that are interesting, more than working out
what a perfect peer production society would look like.

So, in my view the journal should investigate issues such as:
-documenting peer production projects
-documenting social campaigns of commons vs. capital
-commons and the ecological crisis
-furthering best practice and antidiscrimination in peer production
-copyright issues (there is a Debate being talked about on licences for
the spreading of commons)

-how state or international (UN?) actors can help spread commons more

If anyone was interested in doing a special issue, or a debate, or a
paper, on any of these topics I would certainly support them - I'm looking
at you, Jakob! ;-)

Regarding the SC question, I think it's a bit weird that there are some
people on the SC who have almost never commented on this list, but thats OK
I guess, up to them. But there should be a requirement to do two reviews a
year, I think. And of course people are strongly encouraged to volunteer for
special issues, debates, papers, etc.



On 08/20/11, Matthew Allen   wrote:
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Two comments...

IN relation to:
  I really like your slogan "productive negation" but as for whether
this will play a significant role in bolstering p2p production against
capitalism, or whether peer production stands a chance against capitalism
for that matter, I'm not as sanguine, though it does of course constitute an
interesting alternative.

IMO, and it would be nice for the journal to consider exploring this,
the problem with valorising P2P as 'against' capitalism does tend to produce
a binary opposition. p2p for me is part of, and at the same time, outside
capitalism - indeed one can even consider capitalism irrelevant except
insofar is as it provides the context by which p2p makes sense. (this is not
an argument for capitalism I should add, just an interest in ignoring it,
tactically :)).

And on the q of non-active participants --I must say I sometimes find
it hard to participate in the 'ideas and policy' side of things, just for
lack of detailed familiarity with the field compared to some, but I would
definitely agree that some sort of participation (eg reading, commenting
etc) should be a given.

Professor Matthew Allen
Head of Department, Internet Studies
School of Media, Culture and Creative Arts
Curtin University of Technology, CRICOS 00301J Australia
m.allen  ; @netcrit
+61 8 92663511 (v) +61 8 9266 3166 (f)
Australian Learning and Teaching Council Fellow
Life Member, Association of Internet Researchers


From: owner-journal on behalf of Mathieu ONeil
Sent: Sat 8/20/2011 5:11 PM
To: journal
Subject: Re: [jox] Scientific committee

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[posted on behalf of Michel whose email bounced - @Michel - i will
subscribe your address hope that will fix the problem - M]

Hi Nate,

it can be useful for a journal to have both, i.e. to have an active
that actually really participates, but also to have some kind of
council', with prestigious names that give it added credibility ... I
believe it's better to split them however,


On 08/20/11, Mathieu ONeil   wrote:
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On 08/20/11, nathaniel tkacz   wrote:
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Apart from the question of how one enters the committee, there's
also the
question of what is expected once someone becomes a member.
There's been a
bit of a discussion about this in relation to being active on the
list. For
a different journal that I participate in, editorial board
members have to
agree to review two essays per year and are strongly encouraged
to propose
special issues. In short, the committee isn't just a list of
academics, or a way to position the journal as cool. I'm not
against having some high profile people who don't actually do
anything, but
it's worth thinking about how a p2p journal sits in relation to
questions and what that means about the selection of new members.


On Saturday, August 20, 2011, Mathieu ONeil
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I can see you will fit right in with some people on this list.

really like your slogan "productive negation" but as for
whether this
will play a significant role in bolstering p2p production
capitalism, or whether peer production stands a chance against
capitalism for that matter, I'm not as sanguine, though it does
course constitute an interesting alternative.

I can see how
you can practically grow commons : just make more commons and
others to do it. So the islands are getting bigger, they may
huge, look at FLOSS and WP, new islands might be created. But
if there
is to be "spreading [of a] new communist consciousness which
aims at
generalization of p2p production to all branches of production"
then it
will have to cease being an essentially elite form which,
connected to a mass of people, will have limited impact.

I agree 100% with you when you say that what would be necessary
is to
"make a broad alliance with other movements and convince them
that p2p
production offers solutions to many problems that are created
capitalism." A possibly related question may be, what
difference would
it make if state bodies started to actively support peer
There are things happening in India, I think, but I don't know
about it. It is certainly something that seems worth exploring.
StefanMn may know more as there was talk of organising an
conference in India.



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P2P Foundation: ; -

Connect:; Discuss:


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Dr Mathieu O'Neil
Adjunct Research Fellow
Australian Demographic and Social Research Institute
College of Arts and Social Science
The Australian National University
email: mathieu.oneil[at]

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