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A discussion of the crises in Spain and Greece

photo of Michel Bauwens
Michel Bauwens
12th February 2016


Excerpted from from Janosch Sbeih:

* Part One: Crisis as Opportunity

“Crises offer the opportunity to implement policies that lead to profound political and economic changes on the fast track as societies are in turmoil and unable to organise themselves against these implementations. Naomi Klein (2007) explains in her book, “The Shock Doctrine”, how proponents of neoliberalism unable to convince people by means of argument, use situations of shock such as coups d’état, dictatorships or natural disasters to proliferate neoliberal policies. These entail a stripping of the welfare state and general public services as well as the privatisation of public assets. Rather than “free economies” going hand in hand with democratic societies, as it often tends to be represented, the “liberalisation” of economies historically depended on the shocking of populations through extreme state violence and terror or the seizing of opportunities that had an equally traumatising and paralysing effect on civil society. Naomi Klein shows through a rich array of case studies of the last 50 years how neoliberal policies are incompatible with constitutional democracy if no repressive measures are taken against the own population. Neoliberalism was tested first as an experiment in Pinochet’s dictatorship in Chile where the population… Continue reading »

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Posted in: Activism, Politics |

Movement of the Day: Off Networks Community International

photo of Michel Bauwens
Michel Bauwens
12th February 2016


Interesting form of p2p infrastructure:

“The offline networks or ‘off.networks’ community has started as an attempt to bring together researchers, activists and artists that work on the idea of an offline network, operating outside the Internet. Such networks could range from artistic projects (eg. deadrops or wifitagger) and “personal networks” (eg. PirateBox.cc or subnod.es), to community networks (eg. commotionwireless.net) and large city-scale mesh networks (eg. guifi.net, freifunk.net, awmn.net). In their second scheduled meeting during transmediale Festival, the members of this network wish to make their first effort to build a diverse and dynamic community around the design, implementation and deployment of offline networks in different contexts. They wish to reflect critically on the role of such local networks in shaping the evolving hybrid urban space and in addressing the threats which are posed by internet corporations and surveillance states on citizens’ privacy and freedom of speech.”

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Posted in: Featured Movement, P2P Infrastructures |

Video: Socially progressive uses of the blockchain

photo of Michel Bauwens
Michel Bauwens
12th February 2016


This talk took place at the Sydney 2015 Blockchain Workshops organised by COALA.

Watch the video here:

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Posted in: Blockchain, P2P Infrastructures, Technology, Videos |

M.A. Thesis: The Transformative Effects of Crisis in Spain and Greece

photo of Michel Bauwens
Michel Bauwens
11th February 2016


* M.A. Thesis: The Transformative Effects of Crisis: A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the New Economic Cultures in Spain and Greece. Janosch Sbeih. Schumacher College, 2014

An excerpt from Janosch Sbeih:

“The etymology of the word ‘crisis’ tells a lot about the characteristics of such an event. According to the Oxford English Dictionary Crisis comes from the Greek word kerein, meaning to separate or cut, to make fixed, settled (Williams, 2012). The earliest registered use of the word, dating back to the 1500s, is in relation to medical and also astrological events, which were believed to be closely related. In this context, crisis describes “the point in the progress of a disease when an important development or change takes place which is decisive of recovery or death; the turning-point of a disease for better or for worse” (OED, 2014). Crisis is defined in contrast to ongoing progress – initially progress of an illness, and by the seventeenth century, “of anything” (Williams, 2012). A crisis can be understood in two ways. First, as an obstacle to be overcome, a bump in the road of progress that that needs to be dealt with in order to return to the “normal” state of affairs.

Alternatively, a… Continue reading »

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Posted in: Activism, Politics |

Markets Before and After Capitalism

photo of Michel Bauwens
Michel Bauwens
11th February 2016


Excerpted from a really interesting historical review by Jesse A. Myerson:

(see below what she says about post-capitalist markets and de-marketing)

Markets predate capitalism by thousands of years.

Almost from the very beginning of human history, there were markets. As early as the Ice Age, long before the rise of cities with permanently settled populations, there were specialized meeting areas for ritual and trade between groups. When hunting and gathering bands began to settle on land to cultivate crops and domesticate animals, they created the conditions to produce something unprecedented: an economic surplus. By the Bronze Age, people had amassed sufficient “surplus food, oil, and wool,” as economic historian Michael Hudson writes, “to support a permanent superstructure of handicraft, mercantile and administrative occupations.” Temples became the first public institutions, functioning variously as storage facilities for the surplus resources of their communities, gathering places, trading depots, refuges from local feud justice, establishers of contract law, enforcers of trade obligations, and sponsors of standardized weights and measures.

Temples also employed the labor of dependents: war widows, orphans, the blind and infirm, and others who could not function in normal family contexts. Housing the workshops where these dependents wove, Mesopotamian temples consigned textiles to merchants… Continue reading »

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Posted in: Commons Transition, Economy and Business, Ethical Economy, P2P Theory |

What We Can Learn from the New Self-Management Practices in the Recuperated Factories in Argentina

photo of Michel Bauwens
Michel Bauwens
11th February 2016


Excerpted from Carlos Eduardo Martínez:

To refer to this topic, and to try recreate this subject with the greatest clarity possible, it seems important to us to establish what kind of of phenomenon and/or activity we’re referring to when we talk about self-management by workers. We also believe it is necessary and important to clarify that this concept, applied to processes that occur between workers, can be closely linked with the story of the autonomous organization of workers and with their diverse struggles, through which we must analyze and contextualize these experiments in self-management. That is to say, we do not believe it is possible to isolate this kind of productive and social experience from the long tradition of struggle and of conflicts with capital that workers have carried on throughout their history.

The use of the concept of self-management has connotations with great ideological weight, rather than concrete. The concept, seen from various viewpoints, is part of an idea or alternative with democracy and solidarity, linked to a given project, that tries to make explicit what the characteristics of economic, social, and political relationships should be in a society, and show that they can transcend the limits imposed by… Continue reading »

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Posted in: Cooperatives, P2P Governance, P2P Hierarchy Theory, P2P Labor, P2P Subjectivity |

How the Signals used by Capitalist Supply Chains could serve a Mutual Coordination Economy

photo of Bob Haugen
Bob Haugen
10th February 2016


Global networks

 

Mutual Coordination Economy is a phrase and idea that arose from the P2P Foundation and their Mutual Coordination Economics Working Group. This essay explores how the coordination signals used in current capitalist supply chains might be transformed for such an economy.

Introduction

I will look at the coordination signals used by the most advanced capitalist supply chains, and suggest how those signals could be useful for a very different, non-capitalist, social-economic system based on human and ecological needs. And suggest some even more advanced coordination signals that could be used for that more advanced system.

I confess that I am out of touch with the most advanced capitalist supply chains. My experience was in the 1990’s, when the current understanding and practices of capitalist supply chains were undergoing rapid change and development. They have continued to change and develop, and for understanding the changes since 2000 or so, I am dependent on published articles, some of which are listed in the references at the end.

If you want to know a lot more about supply chains from the viewpoint of globalized commerce, check out Continue reading »

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Posted in: Commons, Cooperatives, Economy and Business, Networks, Original Content, P2P Business Models |

How Waze is endangering the traffic commons

photo of Michel Bauwens
Michel Bauwens
10th February 2016


“We run a real risk of creating a new kind of regulatory capture?—?not in the classic sense, where corrupt public officials preference one company over another, but rather a more private kind, where a for-profit corporation literally becomes the regulatory framework itself?—?not through malicious intent or greed, but simply by offering a better way.”

A frightening article on regulatory capture excerpted from John Battelle:

“Waze is a revelation for the uninitiated. It essentially turns your car into an autonomous vehicle, with you as a simple robot executing the commands of an extraordinarily sophisticated and crowd-sourced AI.

But as I’m sure you’ve noticed if you’re a regular “Wazer,” the app is driving a tangible “flocking” behavior in a significant percentage of drivers on the road. In essence, Waze has built a real time layer of data and commands over our current traffic infrastructure. This new layer is owned and operated by a for-profit company (Google, which owns Waze), its algorithms necessarily protected as intellectual property. And because it’s so much better than what we had before, nearly everyone is thrilled with the deal (there are some upset homeowners tired of those new traffic flows, for instance).

Since the rise of the automobile, we’ve… Continue reading »

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Posted in: Commons, P2P Governance, P2P Public Policy |

Options Foodlab: How food making and sharing is supporting migrant integration in Greece

photo of Stacco Troncoso
Stacco Troncoso
10th February 2016


26bdbae7-0016-403a-8071-72c31a0f4d63Eddy Adams of SIX interviews P2P Foundation researcher Penny Travlou at the Unusual Suspects Festival in Glasgow, where she spoke passionately about the work she’s been involved in with refugees in Greece.  This interview was originally published in Social Innovation Europe’s Magazine.


As part of our Beyond Crisis Collection, Eddy interviewed Penny to learn more about this work of using food making and sharing to support migrant integration in Greece.

To get us started, can you tell us briefly what you’ve been doing and how you got involved?

I am a cultural geographer and ethnographer based in Edinburgh. I have an academic post in the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, University of Edinburgh. Since 2010, I’ve been doing research on creativity as a collaborative and sharing knowledge practice within various emerging networks.

I started my research with digital practitioners and artists, but currently I am working with nomadic co-living communities, hackers and refugees. I know that it may not make much sense, but all these diverse groups have one thing in common: they are on the move; they are nomadic. Of course, we cannot compare the experience of Northern European web designers – for… Continue reading »

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Posted in: Collective Intelligence, Commons, Food and Agriculture, P2P Collaboration, Sharing |

Making the case for sharing: the global alliance to #FightInequality

photo of Adam Parsons
Adam Parsons
9th February 2016


fight_inequality_alliance_1

As an unprecedented alliance of campaign organisations combine their efforts in calling on governments to tackle the root causes of inequality, a new opportunity arises to instigate a much needed public debate on why future policy decisions should be guided by the principle of sharing.  


Arguably, one of the most pressing challenges facing humanity today is the need to reverse ever-widening inequalities, especially as this injustice is now a central theme across a wide range of social, economic and environmental issues – from securing basic human rights to addressing the climate crisis. Equally as challenging is the need to mobilise sufficient public support to oppose the neoliberal polices that cause inequality and demand that governments share wealth and other resources more equally across society and the world as a whole.

It’s therefore promising to see an ‘inequality alliance’ of influential civil society organisations emerge this year just as the super-rich Davos cabal assembled once again for their exclusive mountain retreat. Notably, the organisations that form the new alliance are a heterogeneous group that normally pursue different agendas, which suggests that this is a… Continue reading »

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Posted in: Activism, Campaigns, Commons, Commons Transition, Culture & Ideas, Ethical Economy, Guest Post, Sharing |