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

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stefan, Welcome,

Stefan Meretz 01/08/12 5:42 PM >>> 
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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