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Re: [jox] Scientific committee

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hi mathieu,

I hope you don' t mind me adding a few of my five cents here and there,

this concerns your last paragraph,

that there will be a multitude of production systems is in my view not
incompatible with a dominant logic or mode which acts as a chaotic
attractor; in fact, I think if you look at past modes, you see always both a
mix but also a dominant logic ...

in feudalism, the tributary logic dominates, but with farming commons and
the gift economy of the feudals towards the church ... in capitalism,
multiple modalities but a dominance of commodification etc ..

I think that the commons will be the core of the next model myself,

i.e. new ways of dealing with inherited natural commons, through trusts and
other mechanisms

new ways of dealing with constructed cultural commons, this is where the
commons of knowledge, code and design of CP come in

and 'common stock' pools, i.e. new mechanisms of shared property

This does not mean that associated with such mechanisms, both state, market
and other mechanisms will not co-exist, but I do believe the 'commons' will
be the chaotic attractor, peer production the main way of producing such
commons, and peer to peer as the dominant intersubjective social logic ...

in the meantime, the 'weight' of such alternatives is increasing 'within
capitalism' and used for its purposes; and 'peer producers' and commons
contributors similarly seek to increase their own autonomy-in-cooperation
within existing dominant logics

of course, I'm not expecting agreement on this particular vision but I think
we can agree on:

1) the need to understand the emergence of these mechanisms

2) the need to understand how these mechanisms are being used to maintain
and transform the existing political economy

3) the need to understand the emancipatory potential and possibilities that
are both latent, expressed and created through these new mechanisms

While we don't know how the tension between 2 and 3 will play out, we do
know and I think can agree that this tension is worth studying and
understanding and that this is the purpose of the journal

On Wed, Aug 24, 2011 at 3:31 PM, 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 issue.

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 hen
 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 Eng
 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. Look
 , 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
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
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
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
is to be "spreading [of a] new communist consciousness which aims
generalization of p2p production to all branches of production"
then it
will have to cease being an essentially elite form which, unless
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 by
capitalism." A possibly related question may be, what difference
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 Oekonux
conference in India.



On 08/20/11, Jakob Rigi   wrote:
Hi Mathieu and all,

First I do not know about the procedures, I am just new. But I
can tell
you about my emprical and theoretical interests. I became
interested in p2p
production via studying intangible commodities. I tried to theorize
knowledge-sign capitalism. Then, I came across p2p production which
is a
decommoditization of knowledge.  I came to the conclusion (which
some other
people had reached before me)that p2p is a new communist mode of
This mode of production consists of small Islands within the
capitalist mode
of production. Its relation to capitalism includes a dialectic of
articulation and negation.Capitalism also  had this  relation of
articulation/negation with  pre-capitalist modes of production. The
difference is that in the communist-capitalist articulation the
mode of production is the negating force, while capitalism was the
negating force in the precapitalist-capitalist articulation. Theory
articulation is well known among Maxists. The neg
 ation of the capitalist mode of production by the emerging
mode of production includes p2p productive activity, but cannot be
to it. It requires, spreading a new communist consciuosness which
aims at
generalization of p2p production to all branches of production.
the political activists of p2p production need to make a broad
alliance with
other movements and convince them that p2p production offers
sollutions to
many problems that are created by capitalism. In brief we need a
new social
revolution that replaces capitalism with p2p production. Although
the p2p
productive activity is the core driving force of this revolution,
activity, and theoretical work is also essential.

I have submitted a long article on these issues to NEw Left
waiting for their reply.
 I think you are  doing  a pioneering work which is not only
intellectually exciting but will play a significant role in
bolstering p2p
production against capitalism. You are a force of productive
negation. So I
am  excited to join you.
all the best

Mathieu ONeil  08/19/11 14:14 PM >>>
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Hi Jakob, all

Pleasure to meet you!

Your arrival raises an interesting question : how does one
become a
member of our SC? The criteria for inclusion are along the lines of
"must be
a member of a scientific institute, and have expertise in issues
around peer

So, you seem to fit the criteria, but what makes you a member of
our SC?

Until now, people were invited informally. But now that this SC
has been
in place for a while and that a smaller number of people have taken
on extra
responsibilities, such as editing special issues, I think it would
be good
to clarify this point which - I think, could be wrong - someone
grumbled about anyway.

So, do we want to have the editor inviting people pretty much as
based on personal assessment that the person would be a worthwhile
as a reviewer and participant?

Or do we say that anyone who is editing an issue can make that
still based on the criteria mentioned above?

Or do we want to use a more collective method, through this list

I have not completely worked out my own position yet, so I'm
curious as
to what people think about this?



On 08/19/11, Jakob Rigi   wrote:
Thank you very much Johan and Mathieu,

It is really exciting to be part of the group and learn from
you, I
will also do my best to contribute to the debates.

Mathieu ONeil  08/19/11 03:49 AM >>>
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Journal report - 19 AUGUST 2011

Hi everyone, a number of issues for the journal project.
If you want to address a specific issue it might be best to
start a new
thread to avoid confusion - thanks.


Nate Tkacz

ARC Research Assistant
Genealogies of Digital Light
The University of Melbourne

PhD Candidate
School of Culture and Communication
The University of Melbourne


Research Page:

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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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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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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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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]

[2 text/html]

P2P Foundation:  -

Connect:; Discuss:


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