Stimulating critique of pure p2p strategies by Larry Victor:
(I”m not sure yet as to what Larry means with the necessity for uplift)
“The flow of information heralding the rise of entrepreneurial and P2P ventures is increasing. I take no issue about persons using this route for survival or for providing services for immediate needs. But, the unquestioned assumption that this is a bottom-up process eventually leading to a just and sustainable global humankind may be dangerously naive. IMO it is activity that will remain at the bottom. Bottom-up requires UPLIFT.
Even not-for-profit ventures must integrate with established business and financial systems to survive. Their label in reference to profit implies this. This embedment is highly constraining. Just to keep up with ever changing environments and survive competition new ventures become more and more dependent on established systems, even when they claim to be creating a new “peer” economy. And, they cannot move to become an effective alternative economy without bringing the BuzzSaw down on them . Most P2P entrepreneurs are not aware of (nor can’t accept) the deep nature of establishments’ excessive power and narrow vision. Although they may be critical of establishments, it is usually from a liberal/progressive perspective that assumes established systems can be changed from within. I believe a strong case could be made that anticipated reform is virtually impossible. Even revolutions end up simply replacing one oppressive system by another.
The bottom-up/top-down metaphor implies a single system that evolves, using pseudo Darwinian processes. “Revolutionaries” like to think of themselves as opposing THE system, while they both are deeply entwined in a larger system. Societal metamorphosis involves one new system literally replacing an older system.
Yet, as I learn of the great abundance of innovative ventures, I envision how each is highly relevant to UPLIFT and a move towards replacing (not reforming) established orders.
Two activities appear to be universally taboo today:
1) Exploring scenarios where various P2P ventures will synergize/organize into a force to successfully confront established orders rapidly re-configuring into high security “states” ready to suppress all opposition. NEED: Use all historical and current data, even when conflicting. Avoid ideological assumptions about “reality”.
2) Exploring scenarios alternative to (1) involving uplift and variations on the societal metamorphosis theme. NEED: Consider both immediate gains as well as long term success. “