Stefan Meretz: Seven theses on Common-ism

Via Keimform, Stefan Meretz of Oekonux has nailed seven theses that are thought-provoking.

Stefan Meretz:

1. The world will be commonist or the world will not be.

Capitalism is in deep crisis, somebody speak about a final crisis. If only capitalism is at stake, this could be gotten over. But we are capitalism, we are reproducing ourselves by reproducing us within capitalism by reproducing capitalism itself. If capitalism perishes, we perish. Thus, commonism is not a simple wish, not a crazy utopia, but simply an historical, an human necessity.

2. Wanting commonism needs understanding of capitalism

Capitalism is producing people producing capitalism. These dialectics may not be solved to one side. Neither the „greed“ of bank managers bears the blame, nor we are totally subordinated to the system. We have to understand the inner self-reproductive kernel of the operating system of capitalism, in order to act properly. The kernel bases on the rule, that only those people survive who are able to make more dead stuff from dead stuff – called money – by exploitation of the living.

3. Without capitalism everything is nothing, but not everything is capitalism

It is not the case, that capitalism is producing all of our means of living. Capitalism isn‘t even involved by the majority. Following estimations given by Carola Möller two third of all necessary actions and things we need for producing our societal life are not produced in form form of commodities, thus are not produced by capitalism. The from the economy separated sphere is the predominant one, and it is predominantly done by women. It is the „unvisible“ fundament, the other side of capitalist valuation logic.

4. No commonism without commoning

It is a central insight, that commonism is bound to practical doing, to maintaining, to vital producing of the living conditions. However, inside capitalism practical doing is getting the aliened form of „labour“, a spending of energy to transform living things into dead stuff. Therefore, we have to agree with Massimo De Angelis, when he is writing: „‘refusal of work‘ as refusal of capital’s measures, and commoning as affirmation of other measures are the two sides of the same struggle“.

5. Commonism is not coming from nowhere

Commonism is existing in capitalism. But commonism is wedged into the value form: It must „pay off“ or at least „financially feasible“. Commonism is only becoming a germ form of a new society if commonism is able to self-produce on its own fundament. Beyond money, market and state.

6. Free Software – commonism in a germ form

A prominent example – why I am invited here – is Free Software. Free Software has left the commodity form and is therefore able to constitute new social and productive relationships. Free Software is living within capitalism and is germ form of a new way of socialization at the same time.

7. Speaking about commonism must not frighten you

„Communism“ is a burned word. This should not keep us from speaking about commonism. If we like it or not: One will object us with „communism“ in any case. But we can say it self-confident: No, this was not commonism, this was the state-based dictatorial form of capitalism. If capitalism accuses „communism“, then capitalism is accusing itself.

Commonism ist about sociality based on individuality, its about producing our societal lives beyond market mediated relationships. It‘s simply living.”

6 Comments Stefan Meretz: Seven theses on Common-ism

  1. AvatarTorsten

    „Communism“ is a burned word. This should not keep us from speaking about commonism.

    Are naive or is this supposed to be funny?

  2. AvatarMichel Bauwens

    I can’t speak for Torsten, and of course, I do not agree that any word should be banned from usage, on the basis that it could be misunderstood.

    In my view, what Marx views as communism (non-reciprocal contribution and usage) and the logic of the commons are one and the
    same, and they are what Alan Page Fiske calls communal shareholding.

    Nevertheless, I see such commons, — and therefore common-ism if you like, I used the term myself on occasion, but sparingly — is in any case part of a pluralistic economy, containing many forms.

    I think it is okay to speak of common-ism, and okay for you to explicitate it to such a degree, but it does carry the danger that Torsten alludes to, an identification of it, not with the true meaning of the concept of communism, but with the centralizing and totalitarian practices of the regimes that we were familiar with in the last century,

    How far one should take into account such possible misconceptions is a difficult matter, I err on the side of caution, and the use of peer to peer language is also motivated by wanting to avoid all these negative connotations of a historical term.


  3. AvatarR. Ajamak

    you may be interested in this website, which is about the global commons and sharing resources:

    they advocate moving away from ‘isms’ entirely, and talking simply in terms of ‘Sharing’.

  4. Avatarclarry fye

    I added comment because I am in the frontier of wanting to see it happen,but what happened to my comment. CF

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