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Re: [jox] A response to Michel and Jakob

Hi Jakob and Michel

Jakob Rigi wrote:
Dear Hans-Gert,
I agree with your distinction between Marxian and Marxistic. But
disagree that all Marxistic trends of 20th century were a religious
distortion of the former, though many were, particulatly thepre stalinist
and social democratic ones. Troskists had their own shre in this
business, though some of them like E. Mandel produce very original work.
But, we also had very original Marxian thinkers who truely went beyond
Marx. ...

I completely agree that there is an undigged heritage - nevertheless it is hard to approach that in nowaday's discussions, since - in the religious perception of traditional marxism - those are haeretics and hence punished even today. Starting from the sentence that "the ruling ideology is the ideology of the ruling class" in the last 10 years I learned much about the mechanisms of the "ruling ideology of the oppressed class" ("die wirklich linken Dinger" to express it in a German play on words) and I think we should not charge our debates with that (beyond the unconscious charge that is present anyway).

The Marxian law of value is totally absent from the inner logic of
p2p. Hence p2p is a new mode of production.

I strongly disagree with that. More precisely, it depends on your definition, what p2p is. If p2p is a mode of re(!)production where you have enough volunteers that really do "the right job", then you can rule social interactions indeed by "rough consensus and running code". If not, the accountig starts. A mode of reproduction in the former sense, in my opinion, it will never be a dominant social interaction form. For the moment I will not explain that in more detail.

Michel Bauwens wrote:
... and as long as not everything is 100% commons, then you need
reciprocity, and means to account for the reciprocity ... this does
not have to be capitalist money, nor capitalist market, but certain
forms of trade and exchange are very likely to be part of the mix.
... The transition will be impossible if we retain capitalist money
as it is designed now.

I have no idea what that means "100% commons" - is this a world without contradictions, what are the ways to resolve conflicts about the use of "the commons" etc.? The point are not the "commons" but the reproduction modes of the "commons". Division of labour in the last 10.000 years went only into one direction, the direction of refinement. Nowadays we are faced even with special languages to communicate about reproductional needs and ways of particular reproduction modes of parts of the "commons". Capitalist money was not "designed" and cannot be "redesigned" in an easy way without a clear understanding of the multiple social functions that are transported with accounting.

Money is only the tip of the iceberg, a very formalized way to realize accounting. Christian Siefkes had developed plenty of ideas in his book how to "transform accounting" (e.g., autions of unloved duties). My objection that even his mathematical formulas (see appendix A) are just the same as in Leontieff based modeling of capitalistic economy left unnoticed upto now.

Jakob Rigi wrote:
By communism, I mean a form of social relations in which the state
and division of labor have vanished. The division between manual and
intellectual labor has vanished too. Moreover, there is no
difference between the fulfilling individual's desires and
performing social duties. ... Social individual, to borrow a term
from Marx, or social individualism is the corner stone of communism.

As explained above I see no base for a claim "division of labor will vanish". No, the main challenge of the future is to cope with the babylonian jumble of special languages, to establish a culture of translations, transmission etc. I very well understand what are "individual's desires" but as Max Stirner I have no idea what that is beyond ideology - "social duties".

No, "social individualism" is by no means borrowed from Marx, since his vision about communism is "an association (!), in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all."

I think both peer production and *Occupy Wall Street* have a
communist core to the extent they promote social individuality.
Capitalistic individuality is atomistic and egoistic. Communism is
the voluntary cooperation among individuals for both social good and
for their own pleasure and development.

For me the main goal of human doing was and is and will be the "cooperative shaping of the private living circumstances". In the Oekonux context we had a long debate on "Kooperenz" - a two-word concatenation of cooperation and the German "Konkurrenz", that translates as "competition", but is connotated with concurrency that sheds a very special light on competition.

Communism was all the time an utopia. Marx punished the old french socialists as "utopians" and claimed, his way of understanding communism is a "scientific" one. If you follow up the history then you see, that each new round of technically triggered reconstruction of the capitalist society is accompanied with a "new communism" that developes a new utopia of dreams of desired social consequences of the new technical means. p2p is obviously _also_ in that tradition. The first such dream was that on Cockaigne. So I have the strong feeling that communistic ideas are not very helpful for a dry analysis of the nowadays circumstances of living and changes of living. But I think that communism has much to do with Blochs "principle hope" as the very inner driving force of the world (including a hypothetic "communistic one").

Best regards,


  Dr. Hans-Gert Graebe, apl. Prof., Inst. Informatik, Univ. Leipzig
  postal address: Postfach 10 09 20, D-04009 Leipzig
  Hausanschrift: Johannisgasse 26, 04103 Leipzig, Raum 5-18	
  email: graebe
  Home Page:


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