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Re: [jox] A response to Michel and Jakob

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jakob, you say, "The value that facebook appropriates is produced by wage
labores outside it." can you requote once more how you explained that ...

here is how I understand it, let's say ibm,

previously, ibm and other companies where all developing their own internal
software, spending a lot of money; when first corporate pooling and then
linux commons got along, they could obtain the same results with only 10%
of the investment; gladly giving an extra 5% away to the commons because of
all the savings they made. On top of that, they obtain the logic, give a
brick, get a house, so by paying only 2,000 people, they get the work of
100,000 paid people and another 25% who work for free as contributors.

In facebook the mechanism is that they use the attention pool and act as
brokers to advertisers and sellers.

How do you explain both, related but different, processes in terms of rent?

On Thu, Mar 15, 2012 at 6:17 PM, Jakob Rigi <rigij> wrote:

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
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 <stefan> 03/15/12 11:45 AM >>>
Hash: SHA1

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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