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Re: [jox] A response to Michel and Jakob

Hi Stefan,
I totally agree with you and in a previous mail stated that Marx theory of value is totally absent from the inner logic of p2p. Of course in a fully fledged p2p society the form of abstract value that Marx desrbibed will disappear. But, Marx theory of va;ue can explain 
the current relation between peer production and capitalism to extent that capitalists promote p2p. They simply do it to extract rent. Actually from the users point of view both google and facebook are commons, but from the point of view of their owners, they are instruments of extractio ofn rent. IBM contributes to p2p to extract rent too. But, as I mentioned before this does not erase the non/capitalist logic of p2p. P2p is a new mode of production and it is our task to discovers its regimes of value. Marx definition of communism and his Anthroplogy in which he equated human nature with productive creative activity (and this is not labor) can help us to some extent. But, I think it is our own collobarative task to describe and analzye p2p as thoroughly as Marx described and analzyed capitalism.
What I am saying is this: without Ricarian/Marxian theory of rent we will not be able to explain why certain capitalists promote p2p.
And we will not be able to identify the laor which produces the rent. For example one of the most popular thesis even among some Marxist is the following: Users of facebook, google. and ... produce exchange value. Marx theory shows that they don`t. The value that facebook appropriates is produced by wage labores outside it.

Stefan Meretz 03/15/12 11:45 AM >>> 
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Am 15.03.2012 10:35, schrieb Michel Bauwens: 
1- To deal critically with the articulation /contradiction 
between p2p and capitalism. If not we will risk to expandig a 
rentier form of p2p. For this we really need to apply Marx 
theories of value, momey and rent not only to p2p but also to 
knowledge economy in general. My emphasises on Marx theory of 
value is not because I think we shold not go beyond Marx, of 
course we must do this if Marx's 'theory of value cannot 
capture the inner logic of p2p. We need his theory, however, to 
avoid making hybrid forms of capitalism-p2p as a model for a 
fully fledged p2p. In my view Marx theory of money-value is the 
only correct theory of mney. If we don't undrestand the correct 
nature of money, market and trade we end up considering these 
hybrid forms which are basically created by captalists to 
extract rent (facebook and google are good examples of commons 
which serve capitalists to extract rent) as a model for p2p 

I agree Jakob ... p2p needs a coherent value theory, which I'm sure 
I'm unable to give at this stage, and likely never, so we need your 
input here. I'm open to the marxian value theory, it's just that I 
lack the knowledge to truly have my own judgment on this, at least 
at this stage. And yes, the concern towards fake commons must be 
there, though I also insist on the contradictions in place in that 
process, which are potentially of use to peer producers, commoners 
and user communities. 

The problem here, as I see it, is to take into account, that marxian 
value theory is a specific theory for capitalism, and not a 
transhistorical one. In a post-capitalist society, commonism or [put 
your favorite word here], a value theory is not longer valid, because 
it has no subject. 

Assuming that peer production is a germ form of a post-capitalist 
society, describing peer-production in terms of the old society 
(capitalism), implies, that we are re-importing the logics of those 
principles we going to overcome. A free post-capitalist society can 
definitely not be understood in terms of a value theory -- and Marx 
was aware of this problem (in the "Grundrisse"). 

Michel, my feeling is, that intuitively you see this problem. You try 
to cover it by using two different types of value theory: a subjective 
one and a kind of marxian one. For example, this can be found here: 
You are talking about "extract value from nature". This "value" has 
nothing to do with "value" in the Marxian sense. In Marxian theory 
"value" is purely appears societally when private producers exchange 
their products. It is a result of a societal process of "comparision" 
of each efforts to produce the products. A theory of money-value can 
be derived from that. 

In a free society there is no such thing in societal average as 
"exchange", because a peer producing society does no longer base on 
private producers, but on commonly interlinked peer-producers. 

You may argue, and you did, that we are in a transition, where both 
types exist. But then we have clearly distinguish between the old and 
the new logics, even if they currently exist in a mixed form. If we 
simply "bridge" the old and the new logic by using such broad terms of 
"value" as you do, then real contradictions are covered up instead of 
making them clear. Although I understand that you are seeking for a 
unified language of "value" (in the sense of "what is worth for us"), 
I think you will not find it on this road. 

So, Jacob: A fully fledged p2p society can not have a value theory in 
the Marxian sense, this would be a contraditio in adjecto 
(contradiction in itself). 


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