Michel Bauwens and Vasilis Kostakis will rewrite and update Michel’s 2005 seminal manifesto “P2P and Human Evolution”. This will serve as the anchoring essay in Erik Olin Wright’s Real Utopias book series to be published by Verso.
Peer-to-Peer, mostly known to technologically oriented people as P2P, is the decentralized form of networking computers together for various kinds of cooperative endeavors, such as file sharing and music distribution. But this is only a small example of what P2P is: we will claim that P2P is in fact a template of human relationships, a relational dynamic which is springing up throughout all social fields. The aim of this book is to describe and explain the emergence of this dynamic as it occurs, and to place it in an evolutionary framework of the various modes of production. We will agree with the hypothesis that P2P social dynamics permeate the productive infrastructures of the current phase of ‘cognitive capitalism’, but at the same time, we shall argue that they significantly transcend it pointing out the possibility of a new commons-oriented social formation.