Message 04310 [Homepage] [Navigation]
Thread: oxenT03939 Message: 8/9 L4 [In index]
[First in Thread] [Last in Thread] [Date Next] [Date Prev]
[Next in Thread] [Prev in Thread] [Next Thread] [Prev Thread]

Re: Peer production as post-X (was: Re: [ox-en] Triply-Free software)

[Converted from multipart/alternative]

[1 text/plain]
Hi Vasilis,

as you know, I'm myself not sure that peer governance is a full replacement
for representational democracy, and the reason is scale.

The process of peer production is not necessarily replicable to areas of
life where scarce resources have to be allocated and competing 'group'
interests come into play.

Even within peer governance, see the degeneration of Wikipedia, the tyranny
of structureless may lead to power grabs that may necessitate formal
democratic rules (some of which may be representational) to intervene to
remedy the situation (elections in Debian and apache work very well)

I think that also we should not confuse what representative democracy can
be, and what it has become in the current political economy. Original greek
democracy in athens was quite different, using quite different techniques


On Feb 1, 2008 5:43 AM, Vasilis Kostakis <kostakis.b> wrote:

Hi all,

Michel wrote:

peer governance is post-democratic (because non-representational)

and Stefan added:

Not only because it is non-representational. It's also not so tied to
in numeric majorities - which to me is the core of democracy. It's
participative of course - something which is said to be a feature of

In my opinion peer governance is post-representative, because as Michel
and Stefan admit, it is a form of governance that does not rely on
representation but where participants directly co-decide.  Dunn [1993]
underscores that representative 'democracy' (and general the representati=
in every sphere) is nothing more than the alteration of true democracy in=
a harmless one, appropriate for the modern state. Castoriadis [Oikonomou,
2003, p. 257] alleges that "representation is the alienation of power, th=
is, the transfer of power from the represented to the representatives" wh=
there is created "a division of political function, a division between the
rulers and the ruled".

Peer governance is actually a step closer to absolute democracy - towards
the real core of democracy.

Last but not least, I would like to add that peer production is
post-capitalistic as a mode of production not premised on competition.



On 31/01/2008, Stefan Merten <smerten> wrote:

Hash: SHA1

Hi Michel and all!

2 months (61 days) ago Michael Bauwens wrote:
Stefan Merten asked:

I also wonder whether then something like ownership makes actually
sense. Even today we see that something like Internet access step by
step becomes a pre-condition for live and thus a society does well to
simply deliver it.

This actually relates to something Hans-Gert mentioned some time ago:
That the preconditions of production get more and more important. The
production process itself becomes more and more irrelevant compared to
the preconditions.

I often say that peer production is post-capitalist,

Because it's post-exchange.

peer governance post-democratic (because non-representational)

Not only because it is non-representational. It's also not so tied to
in numeric majorities - which to me is the core of democracy. It's
participative of course - something which is said to be a feature of

and peer property is 'post-ownership'.

Steven Weber had an interesting concept of ownership in Free Software:

    Open source radically inverts the idea of exclusion as a basis of
    thinking about property. Property in open source is configured
    fundamentally around the right to distribute, not the right to
    exclude. [p.16]

for more quotes.

But here comes the point I originally wanted to make in this post:

In any case, we see sharing occuring on private platforms, and
commons-production using licenses such as the GPL, creating new
types of ownership. In the immaterial field of non-rival goods, it
does not make sense to have a property of something that can be
easily and freely copied (despite efforts to the contrary) and of
which you loose nothing by sharing it What to do then with common
'physical property'.

Sorry, but there is no much difference if you look at capitalism. For
a store it perfectly makes no sense to hoard all these commodities -
if they could not be sold. Hoarding commodities or goods makes sense
only if you have reasons alienated from the use value of the goods.

Physical goods can be used up which makes them unsharable (or rival).
That much is true. But for this type of relation between humans and
things I'd use possession. I'd guess a good part of ownership of
material goods in capitalism is for alienated reasons - i.e. the right
to exclude to sell them. Insofar the difference to restrictive
licenses for information goods is only marginal.


Version: GnuPG v1.4.6 (GNU/Linux)
Comment: Processed by Mailcrypt 3.5.7 <

Contact: projekt

The P2P Foundation researches, documents and promotes peer to peer

Wiki and Encyclopedia, at; Blog, at; Newsletter, at

Basic essay at; interview at

KEEP UP TO DATE through our Delicious tags at

The work of the P2P Foundation is supported by SHIFTN,

[2 text/html]
Contact: projekt

Thread: oxenT03939 Message: 8/9 L4 [In index]
Message 04310 [Homepage] [Navigation]