Message 00985 [Homepage] [Navigation]
Thread: joxT00985 Message: 1/24 L0 [In date index] [In thread index]
[First in Thread] [Last in Thread] [Date Next] [Date Prev]
[Next in Thread] [Prev in Thread] [Next Thread] [Prev Thread]

[jox] p2p and market

[Converted from multipart/alternative]

[1 text/plain]
of course c hristian, you know I share you critique of the current
market-scarcity model and that I think the contrary of what you say here
below, can we perhaps avoid the obvious straw men arguments which construct
an imaginary enemy that is easy to strike down, and limit ourselves to what
is actually said?

i.e. your two paragraphs here, so let's go to the crux of the matter after

- Additionally, in such a situation any peer production (generally unpaid,
voluntary, self-organized) is the enemy of those whose livelihood depends
being paid for doing roughly the same work. The livelihood of people
for Encyclopedia Britannica and Brockhaus has been endangered by Wikipedia,
professional musicians' livelihoods are endangered by all the free music
that is shared (legally or illegally) on the Internet, journalists are
endangered by blogs etc.

- Moreover, automation now becomes your enemy rather than your friend. A
of jobs have been made superfluous by computers. If you think that
everything which people do should preferably be fun or satisfying for them,
then any automation of tasks that aren't sounds like a good thing. But if
your livelihood depends on performing some more or less annoying and
unpleasant job, then you won't want it to be taken over by a computer or
machine, even if you otherwise wouldn't mind being rid of it.

Because of these conflicting tendencies, I don't think the scenario of a
long-term, more or less peaceful co-existence of peer production and market
production credible. Market production is totalitarian:

well, this is absolutely factually and historically incorrect ... even in
tribal times, there have always been a multitude of exchange and
reciprocity mechanisms, except for perhaps really small bands who had no
contact with outsiders ... david graeber's latest book for example, shows
how market mechanisms were used with strangers and enemies in tribal
societies ... so markets have existed for thousands of years not only
outside of capitalism but even outside of the supply-demand pricing
mechanism (hindu system and just price medieval system). Even under
capitalism, with commodification very dominant and all-encompassing, it is
not totalitarian, in fact, it could not exist without the non-market
economy. So inf fact, mutliple modes have co-existed with the market, from
nearly the dawn of time, until today. This does not make the market
mechanism un-problematic, but is just a factual correction.

if some goods (e.g.
health care in your example) are only available on the market (by paying
them), then *everybody* must remain a market producer (engaging in some
of paid work or else living from the work of others), since otherwise how
would they get the necessary money? The only conceivable exception is
for luxury goods which nobody does absolutely need (i.e. NOT health care
other essentials).

there are multiple ways to provide healtcare outside, with, and in the
market. I have lived in a country with free healthcare that was a hybrid of
state, mutualist and market dynamics until 10 years ago; so again, this is
factually and historically totally incorrect, it is perfectly possible to
have hybrid modes

so the key and already the answer to your next paragraph is that the real
question is not the co-existing of modes, since monological societies,
except for the bands, have probably never existed; the real question is,
what mode is dominant, how do they co-exist and how can the negatives of
certain modalities be avoided and diminished

What are the alternatives? Either turning peer production into a form of
market production, yielding some income to those engaged in it, as you seem
to suggest

This is not at all what I suggest. Peer production should retain its
characteristics and should be expanded where-ever possible. The difference
is that I imagine a transition process for this, and look at concrete
socio-technical hacks that may achieve this, while you imagine a total
alternative, but have seemingly no interest in thinking about how it can
come about. The real issues are: 1) what happens when they co-exist 2) how
can we move that co-existence in the favour of increasing dominance of peer
production 3) which doesn't exclude non-linear phase transitions

. Then ultimately market production would win and the specific
characteristics of peer production would be lost. You would have to compete
against others in order to keep or gain market share. You would no longer
work voluntarily since your income now depends on your continuing to work.
You would be forced to keep some secrets from others to prevent them from
competing effectively against you. And so on.

this is the reality right now, and in existing peer production, the
dependence on market and state redistribution is maximal. How do we
diminish this and render peer production more autonomous and even dominant?

The other alternative is to make people's dependency of income superfluous,
meaning that neither you nor anybody else needs to engage in paid work in
order to live a good life. This means finding answers to all the hard
questions: "If we cannot pay doctors to care for us, how else do we get
to do it?" would be one of them. The basic form of the question is the same
as in: "If we cannot pay people to write an encyclopedia for use, how else
do we get them to do it?" That latter question has already been answered,
though finding the right answer was far from easy. The history of the
Nupedia <> is an instructive example
the trial-and-error process that preceded the successful setup of the
Wikipedia -- trying to follow the processes of existing encyclopedias to
closely was among the biggest sources of mistake, I believe. Similar
trial-and-error processes will be needed for all other areas of life, and I
suppose that trying to follow the example of capitalist enterprises too
closely will be the source of many other mistakes and that peer-produced
health care, or education, or furniture production, or computer
or whatever, will look more different from the currently used processes
we can imagine.

This is interesting and this is exactly what we are doing at the p2p
foundation, i.e. not imagining p2p paradise, though that is legitimate, but
continuously observing and learning from what really existing communities
are actually doing. Allen Butcher's communal economics has an extensive
record of what intentional communities have tried over the last few hundred
years, with many really existing allocation mechanisms,not imaginary ones.

Meanwhile, for a long time we'll remain in some kind of hybrid situation,
where many people will be engaged in some kind of peer production, while
still needing some kind of paid work (part-time maybe, like me) to get the
money necessary to buy what peer production cannot yet provide.

and this is where we cannot afford  only imagining and dreaming, but need
to leverage change where necessary

there is also a dramatically painful historical record of social attempts
to abolish hybridity by fiat and everytime, market mechanisms where
re-introduced either from above (Lenin's NEP), or from below (cigarettes as
money in prisons); on the other hand, many intentional production
communities have successfully abolished money transactions internally.
Let's learn from real experiences, and see how we really can get to a more
p2p, or even a p2p-dominant world.  We only differ in that I do not wish
for a p2p-only world, but think a continued diversity of reciprocial and
non-reciprocal relationships is a good thing ...

P2P Foundation:  -

Connect:; Discuss:


[2 text/html]

Thread: joxT00985 Message: 1/24 L0 [In date index] [In thread index]
Message 00985 [Homepage] [Navigation]