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Re: [jox] A response to Michel and Jakob

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On Tue, Mar 20, 2012 at 4:15 PM, Stefan Meretz <stefan> wrote:

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Am 20.03.2012 05:35, schrieb Michel Bauwens:
Stefan, you make this very strong statement:

<If a society is based on voluntary contribution, aka commons
based peer production, then the entire society is organized that
way. >

so do you really believe that 'by fiat', there will be a wholesale

By fiat? What do you mean? Do you want to become a candidate as the
benevolent p2p-dictator for a whole peer society? You will not get my
vote ;)

you are asking us to imagine a wholly p2p/commons society, so the question
how we get there is entirely legitimate, if you don't have a transition
strategy, then how will it come into being if not by fiat? It was a
question by the way ...

If you read the sentence again carefully, you have to admit, that it
is a purely logical statement with no big depth and utility. It is
always true:

"If a society is based on private commodity production and exchange,
aka capitalism, then the entire society is organized that way."

it's not logical at all, neither one nor the other ... just as there
multiple pockets of non-capitalism within capitalism, they are likely to
be  multiple pockets of non-commons within a p2p-based society .. much more
logical and likely, given the historical record, is that these pockets will
be influenced by the dominant mode, just as now, non-capitalist modalities
are influenced by capitalism ..


If not, there will be a transition where this is not the case, and
we are back the the reality-based discussion.

Please do no denounce discussions about the functioning of a peer
society working on its own ground as "unrealistic". Our efforts must
be twofold as explained in the response to Tony (not repeated here).
We should not play off the one with the other. This does not help.

back to square one ... it IS legimate, but if it consistently fails to
offer a vision on the transition, it becomes less than useful after a while

My contention is that, like for marx, full commonism is likely to
be an end-point, not a magical transition, and this creates a
discussion around the complexity of change, from the period in
which the class dominance of capital ends, to the reallization of a
full contributory society.

According to Marx I would say: Then prehistory ends and history
begins. An end-point is only reached when human species dispear.

may be true, but it doesn't invalidate the other point ...

If you admit my point, how then is your vision of transition?

A transition needs no vision, because it is already happening. Within
this transition we have a lot of analysis in common plus some
differences. Do I need to repeat them? No, you know them well. I my
understanding these differences are part of the process, because all
possible ways of transition have be tried out. Most of them will
vanish, because they do not work, but some of them will develop to the
dominant mode of production. If you argue for using peer money, then I
argue against it, because it is a dead end. But anyway what you and me
say: It will be tried out. It is "normal" that people first are using
those means they know by only slowly lose illusions.

we will see if the transition can work with purely capitalist money, or
that the transition will need different currencies ... I hold a different
view that people with illusions about the current currencies will see that
different designs are needed ... just as people using proprietary software
learned that free software was better ... otherwise you end up with the
logical inconsistency of favouring free software, except those that manage

What needs more vision or imagination is the functioning of a peer
producing society on its own ground, because many of the rejections
(e.g. of my "strong statements") are coming from this missing insight
and imagination. If you believe that money will never disappear then,
of course, you will only focus on solutions within the monetary realm
reproducing the drawbacks as command via money as Toni points out.

that is of course NOT what I believe, I merely believe that you cannot make
money disappear via fiat, and that many other conditions are necessary for
its functions to be superseded ... in the meantime, you need to deal with
it ...  the real issue how to make the other spheres work with and for the
commons .. of course if you believe that a pure commonist society will
suddenly appear fully formed, you don't need to deal with such issues ..

to give you an example ... many religious orders function internally
without any money at all, but in dealing with the world, they must deal
with it ... the commons sector, however dominant, will if not totalitarian,
have to deal with the aspects of society needing reciprocal arrangements ...


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