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Re: [jox] A response to Michel and Jakob

Hi Michel,

Am 13.03.2012 14:35, schrieb Michel Bauwens:
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

So I have probably not yet understood, what a "proto-mode" really is. Is this something similar to the german "Keimform" (germ form)? The latter is in my understanding not analytic but epistemic, a way of thinking a change, not a way of thinking about the substance of the changing thing itself, that has surely both changing and not changing modes.

"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,

That's for me the main difference between Marxian and Marxistic approaches - claiming marxistic mantras to be true only because they are "well-known defintions" or allow doubt. "contribute to your ability, use on basis of need" is one of such mantras that have the very smell of Cockaigne. Löwys citation of (MEW 26, 828) addressed just that point, so sorry that I probably did not explain that clearly enough.

That the utopias of the opressed classes all times had a smell of Cockaigne is neither a deep observation nor a big surprise. To substitute such "Cockaignism" by a cool headed analysis is one of the main points that should be addressed by "the associated producers to rationally regulate their metabolism with nature".

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

I think there is a deep difference between sharing parts of the world and sharing descriptions of the world (the latter being "just the reality of today's digital 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 ...

This is a deep question about the goal of our conversation - do I have to agree with your story, or you with mine, or do we compare our story tellings about a certain part of the real world to learn from each other, since this are different stories, but about the same world?

For, my starting point is a simple observation - capitalism as an answer to the granularity dilemma: A bifurcation point in the development of mankind, where growing force could no more be accompanied by growing power. After that point capitalism accumulated a big cultural heritage (by the way, strongly emphasized by ME in the first part of their "Manifesto"), so one should not sweep out the child with the water, as a german word play sounds.

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' ...

Marx always emphasized that use value and exchange value are two sides of the same medal. So trusts have not only to preserve (more precisely - to reproduce) the capital (exchange value terms) but also the required productive infrastructure (use value terms).

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 ..

So they understand very well, that this is "capitalistic"?

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

the difference between book keeping and mind keeping I did address ...

The really interesting thing in capitalism is, that you can successfully cheat others but not yourself, because if you cheat yourself you will get ruined. The "general capitalist" spends much efforts (even in money terms) to get "A LOT secrets" revealed, not for the public, but for the "general capitalist".

so, this is NOT what I meant, there are probably just a handful of
corporations practicing full open accounting

I don't know any company that does _not_ publish annually, quarterly etc. reports approved by external financial authorities. If you are listed at the stock market you _have_ to supply such reports quarterly in a standardized way. So I have no idea what you are writing about ...

It is only a matter about _how_ open, and I think it has a clear advantage for any strategically thinking management nowadays to practice full open accounting since it makes cooperation more predictable. Any structured way of capitalistic cooperation (e.g. within CMMI requires such openness. I think, in the digital era it is a _core capitalistic aim_ to turn to a practice of full open accounting.

... 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

So what's the effect of market forces on you different than a "continous practice of trashing out differences" if you are not a "big player"?

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

There is a famous book by Elmar Altvater about "the end of capitalism as we know it" - the problem is, that this is not necessarily the end of capitalism at all. My aim ist to speak about "capitalism as we do not yet know it" - so indeed "certainly not in the traditional model".

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.

For me it means clearly to understand the basics and consequences of "making decisions about the rules, protocols ..." in the same way as any engineer has clearly to understand the basics and consequences of her decisions. This is in the same way not "the discussion to the possibility to make different political decisions" as the discussion of freedom cannot be a discussion about the freedom to do the wrong things (H.-P. Dürr in the Potsdam Manifesto 2005).

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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