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Re: [jox] A response to Michel and Jakob

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fully agree wi th Tony's problematising, with one proviso ... our task is
to seek how to extend p2p to more broader functioning.

Hence, in my vision, the productivity of seeing p2p as a 'proto-mode of
production' and to seek ways to enhance its own reproduction and autonomy.
I'm not claiming I or anybody else has the answers, but this is what we are
engaged in seeking and finding. And of course,  I have formulated a
proposal on how this could happen.

And I know Stefan will not like this statement, but I see no evidence that
"oekonux" is engaged in such efforts. To do this would require not the
statement of a hypothetical future condition (where all is based on
contributions), nor a hypothetical description of 'how it could be done',
nor a naturalistic germ form theory,  but a more nitty-gritty description
of getting from here to there, based on observable practices and

To Tony, I believe we can see, within evolving capitalism, the
crystallization and emergence of new value practices and institutional
logics, which, while being integrated in the mainstream system, also create
new class conditions in which substantial elements are in favour of peer
producers, and allow us to seek leverage points to make p2p into a real
mode of production, eventually, given the convergence of social movements
and new value practices.


On Tue, Mar 20, 2012 at 7:14 AM, Toni Prug <tony> wrote:

How do we run a city without accounting? A region? A state? How do
we collect contributions, as we do in the forms of tax and money
today? We ask for tax to be voluntarily donated and hope for the

How does Wikipedia collect contributions? Or Free Software? Or
WikiSpeed? They let the people contribute, because they want to. The
rest is organization -- which is done in the same way: by voluntary

It is a huge topic, so i will limit my response to this small bit.

Monetary contributions to Wikipedia and Free Software are such a tiny part
of the overall cost of those productions that it is hardly worth mentioning
- since the actual cost is not the cost of infrastructure and core staff,
but the cost of reproduction and spare time of all the contributing

In other words, those economic activities that pay for the housing,
clothes, food and the rest of living costs of all contributors are the
activities on which p2p entirely depends - wages, studentships, parents'
funds, inheritances ... all earned or created in capitalist or other
existing systems based on commodities, exchange, labour, money, value.

To be more precise, p2p is an incredibly thin, but an important new (i
agree with the need to research it), way of producing voluntarily and
collectively. However, it seems quite inappropriate to call it a mode of
production, since it rests on top other modes and fully depends on them.

To put in simple terms (without entering economics or marxist
terminology): on its own, p2p can't build, mantain and develop a city, nor
can it organize division of labour and allocation of overall produced
wealth necessary for such achievements. While slavery, feudalism,
capitalism and socialism all could/can.

It's not a surprise that p2p theorists have not been able so far to
produce a plausible vision of how a p2p society perhaps might one day
delivery cities and rest that other modes of production delivered so far
and that we wish to improve on.  Producing such visions is a task too
difficult for anyone or any group of humans - this is  one important thing
to learn from social sciences (equally from Marx, or Keynes, or
neoclassical economics and political theorists): there are too many
complexities involved.

Hence the need to stick with analysing the existing p2p practices, and to
recognize conditions in which those practices exist - the above mentioned
total dependence on other dominant modes of production being the starting

Yes, you may rightly say, new starts its existence in the old. You may
also say that there are new phenomena which are able to boot-strap itself
out of the old and create a new totality on their own. The problem is,
nothing so far points out in the direction of p2p being such a new
phenomena able to become an overall logic of organizing the entire society
(mode of production, if you wish), due to its full dependence on the
existing modes of production - i'm speaking here as a p2p fan and as a
former and occasional p2p practitioner who would love to see any evidence
of the opposite.


P2P Foundation:  -

Connect:; Discuss:


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