Originally published 18 September 2018 at foprop.org
Mike Hales: When I first read Gary Werskey’s 2007 ‘three movements’ article – four years ago – I was sceptical. He discussed two British movements of radicals around science, in the 30s-40s and the 70s-80s, and speculated on the possibility of a third (which might possibly have an environmental impetus).
I was particularly unconvinced about the possibility of a Marxist movement, like the other two. But now, in 2018, I do have the sense that, yes, the peer-to-peer commons movement may be the thing that is in fact standing in that place. It would be worthwhile, at least, to proceed on the basis that it is – with substantial (if, for activists, secondary) implications for the field of science and technology studies (STS). I’m in no doubt that P2P-commons is the biggest thing I’ve seen in my activist lifetime . . and that it mobilises the stuff I’ve been cultivating these past 50 years, as a libertarian socialist with an orientation to the politics of knowledges and technologies.
It would be worth proceeding on the basis that P2P-commons is ‘the third radical science movement’
‘Radical science’ in the 70s wasn’t essentially about science?
The movement for P2P-commons may be significantly ‘cultural’ and profoundly ‘materialist’, in ways that might be facilitated and clarified
The P2P-commons movement seems to be carrying forward – expanding – the organic intellectual impetus that began to be apparent in the 70s, ‘in-and-against the PMC’
P2P-commons is way bigger than ‘radical science’ was