Explaining Oekonux’ Germ Form Theory

The two Stefan’s of Oekonux (Linux Economy) are writing an overview essay for Capital and Class, a draft version of which is already available here.

It’s an excellent explanation of their germ form theory, to which I adhere as well.

Here’s the abstract:

When looking at peer production with a historical perspective then it is hard to understand it with common models. Germ form theory comes to the helping giving a nice explanation of what happens. Germ form theory gives a general framework explaining how (historical) change comes about. The article explains the main concepts of germ form theory and its origins. In particular the five-step approach is explained. A second part points out how Free Software as a major peer production phenomenon fits into germ form theory. The new qualities of peer production are highlighted and it is argued that these have the potential to overcome capitalism. Finally capitalism during its germ form phase is considered. In particular this is used to highlight some of the dialectic movement of a germ form which is still embedded in the previous form.

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