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Re: [jox] Peer Production and Societal Transformation / italian translation

Hi Jacob,

thanks for your immediate and interesting response!

Am 08.01.2012 14:06, schrieb Jakob Rigi:
1- Money has nothing to do with the scarcity of godds, the point
you barrow from Raymond.

What I borrow from Raymond is the observation, that if you combine a
free abundant good with a scarce good, then you can demand money for it.
I do not _explain_ money with the argument of scarcity.

Money is an expression, measure and preserver of congealed
abstract labor in the form of abstract value. Once, labour and
its products are commoditized every thing else can potentially
from sex, to even air and water can become commodties, suply and
demand determining their prices, which are distorted expressions
of their values. In this context the price of an object increases
in porprtion of the demand for it and in inversion to proportion
of its supply. This as Marx brilliantly showed creates the
ilustion, the one that Raymond reproduces, that scarcity is the
origin of prices and money.

This may be the case with Raymond, I don't know. He is a positivist,
affirmative thinker, that's true. Agree on your explanation.

Of course, I agree with you, as Marx did too, that money and labour
will vanish in a fully fledged p2p which in Marx's formulation is
nothing but advanced communism.

You may name it like that.

2- You are righ about socialism, this is a point that was made
long ago by Negri in his Marx beyond Marx which is basically a
commentary on Marx"s Grundrisse. I think Guy Debord another arch
Marxian made the same point. But if we read carefully the Critique
of Gotha programme, Economic and Philosophical Manuscrpts of 1844,
particularly parts on alianated labour and communism, and sections
fo Grundrisse where Marx talks about advanced communism, we can
easily see that in Marx view socialism bears within itself many
aspects of capitalism wiyhout being the same. It is debatable
whether Marx view of first socialism and then advanced communism
was a good project for his era, but in our era we can reach
advanced communism without going through socialism.

My point is: If you stick with commodity production, it is not possible.
Thus I would say Marx was wrong on this point, which he btw. strongly
fought against in case of Proudon. In the Gotha Programme Critique he
fell back to the same arguments he rejected before.
But as you say: It is is debatable, whether Marx could see this so
clearly in his time. He was under pressure of the emerging workers
movement to quickly deliver "concrete proposals".

3- This brings us to your points on state and politics which are
very similar to those of Alain Badiou who is aMaoist (advanced in
his AntiPolitics). Today major infrastructures including
telecommunication and major natural resources are owned by
capitalists i.e corporations or states. This ownership is
guaranteed by property rights which are protected by violence of
state. Is it possible to generalise p2p to all production without
collectivization of these strategic resources? Is such a
collectivization possible without prior abolishing of the state?
If the answer to these questions is negative, if the
generalization of p2p requires a social revolution then we need
to engage the state in a negative way. We bolish the state but do
not creat our own. This means politics. This requires mobilization,
strategies and tactics and buiding of alliances.

In my view it is a process, in which all of the aspects are done in the
same process. There is not such order as "kick the state first, and the
appropriate the means and resources of production" or vice versa. Doing
peer production means making the state partly superfluous, but not
completely (e.g. state-secured copyright as a means to defend copyleft,
but in the long run making it all public domain). It means acquiring the
means of production by using them for the commons, making knowledge
openly available etc. (but they may remain private or collective
property for now, while the long run overcoming property in the legal
sense at all is the task [not to be mixed with possession]).

However, I do not see why abolishing the state means politics. To me it
means selforganization, creating our own governance structures, our own
institutions as we already do it now. But this does not mean "state",
and it does not mean "politics". Politics are necessary where we are
confronted which attacking "politics", but politics as a mode of
societal mediation is as historically bound to capitalism as modern
state is (see pattern 9).

4- Your point 10, is interesting, your classifications are helpful
but there is some kind of evolutionism there.

It may appear like that, but it is not meant that way. The important
thing here is to understand the dialectics of being beyond capitalism
while supporting it at the same time. It is not helpful to turn into a

You dont see the role of social struggle.

Maybe I have a different notion what social struggle can be. Usually
social struggle is meant to oppose against attacks on our conditions of
life. Defense is important, but it is not the source where the creation
of something new comes from. Commons-based peer production is social
struggle too, but it is a creating one: new social structures, new ways
of producing our livelihoods, new logics of inclusion etc. Again: It is
not helpful to turn these two aspects into a dichotomy. Best would to
integrate in one process.

If we have a global social revolution tomorrow,

This will not happen, my guess.

which makes the major strategic resources the commons of humanity
the p2p will become the dominant mode of production vey quickly. On
the other hand, it is also possible for stat and capital to kill p2p
or keep it in a marginal position for the next 100 years.

This is a more likely option, however, the commons (p2p) cannot be
killed. The dialectics is, that capital is living from it. If there is
no more commons to be enclosed, then capital will die. Thus the more
likely strategy is to embrace the commons movements which is already
happening. The question is if we understand it and remain on our own
principles (e.g. openness).

everything hinge on social struggle, hence politics.

Everything hinges on generalizing the commons-based mode of production
globally. Isn't this is true at the same time?


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