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Re: [jox] A response to Michel and Jakob

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On Tue, Mar 13, 2012 at 7:51 PM, hgg <hgg> wrote:

Hi Michel,

Am 08.03.2012 04:16, schrieb Michel Bauwens:

 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
enough volunteers that really do "the right job", then you can rule
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.

my position is different, I call it a proto-mode of production, because it
cannot as yet fully reproduce itself ... precedents are the existence of
coloni with the slave-based Roman Empire, or the existing of enterprise
within a dominant feudal mode ... for example, capitalist enterprise was
dependent on granted monopolies and could not reproduce itself
independently ..

Great stories, but for me they have nothing to do with an _analytical_
approach to the phenomena to be studied.

I'm guessing you have a very narrow definition of analytical, as in 'the
concepts that <I>, hgg, am using" .. these are not at all "stories", but
historical examples of analogous processes, and proto-mode <is> an
analytical concept

 if you use Alan Page Fiske's relational grammar**Relational_Grammar<>

Unfortunately "There is currently no text in this page."

it's here:

 you can use a gradation. True
p2p, contribute to your ability, use on basis of need, is only possible
with presently abundant resources, and today this is the digitized
information, but it is not just volunteers. Paid developers who use the
GPL, and use community norms and directions, are also contributing to the
commons. Where resources are rival, reciprocal dynamics must be used, and
these can be capitalism, but also non-capitalist markets or forms of
exchange, gift economy, time banking and all the techniques that have been
documented in Allen Butcher's ongoing study of communal economics. see**Category:Community_Economics<>

I have not yet read about Allen Butcher's ongoing study of communal
economics, so my remark can only be preliminary:

Löwy (**Michael_L%C3%B6wy<>)
wrote several years ago in a paper, here the reference of a german
translation of the french original:

M. Löwy: Destruktiver Fortschritt. Marx, Engels und die
 Ökologie. Utopie kreativ, Heft 174 (2005), S. 306--315.

"Finally Marx defines, again in vol. 3 of the "Capital", socialism not as
"ruling" or human control over nature, but through control of material
exchange with nature: The freedom in the area of material production 'can
only be in the way, how societal humans (der vergesellschaftete Mensch),
the associated producers, rationally regulate their metabolism with nature
(diesen ihren Stoffwechsel mit der Natur rationell regeln), bring it under
common (gemeinschaftliche) control, instead of being ruled by its blind
power' (MEW 26, 828). "

I left some german words to express my point in more clarity since the
semantics of an english translation is in many cases slightly shifted.

"True p2p, contribute to your ability, use on basis of need,..." does not
address those questions at all but has for me a smell of Cockaigne.

well, it happens to be the well-known defintion of communism by Marx, whom
I don't consider 'utopian', but you're free to differ, in this case it
refers to a system where anyone can contribute, and it is made available
for universal use ... this is just the reality of today's digital commons
(on the condition you have access to the network)

By the way, there is an interesting history of the commmons and its
division during the 19th century: Germany (and not only Germany) was
divided in those times in dynastic areas of very different sizes and with
very different traditions in the cameralistic management of the commons
(Allmende). The most progressive achievements are related to the name of
C.F.Gauss in the area Braunschweig-Hannover, but are based on the very
early (as in 1746) land-surveying in that region. So accounting of the
commons played a very central role for prospective of that region until
1843, when the privatization of the commons started.

yes, rival physical commons need regulation and reciprocity, this is the
whole basis of Ostrom's research, and this can include accounting, though I
was not aware of this instance, very interesting in any case

 If you build an ecology of phyles**Phyles<>around
the commons,

this addresses the reproductional needs of a productive context and is
called "trusts" in capitalistic economy, isn't it?

I don't think you can equate the two, though I can see why you could make
this comparison ... a trust has to preserve the capital, usually financial,
or land ... a phyle creates added exchange value, by creating 'rival' value
(such as labour time) 'on top of the commons' ... but like trusts, it can't
really deplete the commons without also weakening itself, so there is the
analogy .. the people who wrote about phyles , neil stephenson in the
diamond age, and david de ugarte of, were specifically
inspired by the venetian and florentine guild enterprises and their
international networks across the mediterranean ..

 you can practice open book management**Book_Management<>(and other forms of p2p
accounting (**Category:P2P_Accounting<>

Any capitalist is required to "practice open book management" - not for
the employees, but for the "general capitalist" represented by the
financial authorities and the accountants etc., so this is clearly only a
modification within capitalism.

have you ever worked for a corporation .? first of all, even U.S. public
enterprises, probably the most exposed, keep A LOT secret, second the
ovewhelming majority of capitalist accounting is fake ... and generally
speaking everything in a corporation is secret/discrete by default ... even

so, this is NOT what I meant, there are probably just a handful of
corporations practicing full open accounting and open supply chains and
production data (I only know of one belgian company, Namahn, publishing
open internal accounting of its payroll) .. what we're talking about is
making the holoptical practices, which are the default practice of open
knowledge and free software projects, the default for all corporate
practice within the specific commons network

 open supply chains and other forms of coordination and negotiation.

... very well known to capitalists for hundreds of years (it's even the
core of capitalism in difference to former societies, to replace
contributions and duties by negotiations).

again, what I said has nothing to do with the partial coopetion practiced
by some corporations, we're talking about a continous open practice of
trashing out differences, as is the practice in free software communities

 These techniques,
routinely practiced in free software and open hardware, do not require the
commons logic, they can be practiced even within reciprocal exchange

You see it cannot be dominant, and you don't want to explain it, but that
would be interesting, because in my opinion, in open source modes, it is
already dominant.

I completely agree that there is a dominance change, the very difference
is the question "of what"? I claim - a new mode of capitalistic production,
as capitalistic production changed modes in the last 300 years several
times (approx. every 50 years).

the proto-mode of peer production in a capitalist environment can be
considered as a new modality of capitalism, but it is also based on
substantial non-capitalist logics that are the practices of free software
communities, and certain of these practices, can be the basis of a
transformation towards a new mode of production that is post-capitalist,
given certain conditions. This is exactly the task ahead of us.

 For example, if you study the relation between IBM and
Linux (see the PhD thesis of George Dafermos), but also other
corporate-commons dynamics, it seems clear that the value creation is
already happening according to the logic of the commons and that the
logic of the software's development is already subsumed (even as they
operate in a wider capitalist economy and the firms are subsumed to
accumulation in the other aspects). And why could it not be the dominant
logic if it was for the longest period of human history. Why was Marx
on this? Dominant doesn't mean all-encompassing, it just means that it is
the core logic of value creation. For example, if a firm makes products
based on the open design, then its core value is derivative from the open
design commons.

It's a matter of interpretation - I see only a more dominant role of
rational organization of _re_productional processes. This is very new for
Marxists, but not at all for capitalism. The for Marxists of all times
strong notion of "profit" was known as a very weak one to bookkeepers for a
long time, since there are "revenues before and after taxes", "before an
after depreviations" etc. A sound value theory should address those
questions (and even the differences between book keeping and mind keeping).

I'm not understanding that paragraph .. free software is rational, of
course, but that doesn't mean that all it's aspects are capitalist, and
certainly not in the traditional model

 Capitalist money is and was designed and is continuously designed.
Abandoning the gold standard is a design decision, making sovereign money
creation illegal through the European treaties is a design decision.

No, its a political decision with short wave and long wave consequences.
 "Design" means for me, they understand what they do in the sense as it is
required from a technician to understand what she does not to be accused
not to deliver work as "state of the art".

ok, you have a particular notion of design, fine with me, for me it means,
making decisions about the rules, protocols that will govern the workings
of a particular system; if you want to call that a political decision,
which of course they are, that is fine; so we move the discussion to the
possibility to make different political decisions about the structures and
rules of money. Your semantic have changed, the problem remains the same.

So far some remarks from my point of view for the moment.

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
 tel. : +49 341 97 32248
 email: graebe informatik.uni-leipzig.**de<graebe>
 Home Page: http://www.informatik.uni-**<>


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