The P2P Foundation as a collective ‘organic intellectual’

I explain this at the start of this 8-minute interview done at the Ouishare Fest.

It also covers the theme, how to re-organize politics and policy in a context in which the power of salaried labor is shrinking in the Western countries.

Watch the video here:

Here is a summary transcript of the questions and responses:

* 1. THE DIFFERENT OPINIONS, MOVEMENTS AND APPROACHES AT OUISHAREFEST2015. WHAT DO THEY ALL SHARE?

Well, three things are happening and they are a kind of an answer to the systemic crisis which are people experiencing today: social inequality, and ecological crisis.

1. Mutualization of knowledges (Open Source Movement, free software, open culture)

2. Mutualization of infrastructures (that’s what we are doing here (at the OuiShareFest). OuiShare is more about carsharing, bikesharing, sharing of physical things.

3. Relocalisation of (local) production. There is a lot of work about reorganizing food chain or cooperative energy projects. It’s like people are looking at an alternative. They don’t have the power to change the system, they just look for concrete solutions close to their own situation. More and more people are doing this and more and more people are finding each other. Today the accelerations is: It’s going from fragmented to ecosystemic. The people who are doing food coop are talking to people who are doing time banking. Time banking people are talking to the credit unions and the credit unions are talking to makerspaces. This is going on on a global basis. Not everywhere as fast but pretty much everywhere.

* 2. HOW COULD WE BRING THE IDEAS OF THE DIFFERENT SOCIAL MOVEMENTS TO POLICY-MAKING AND POLITICS?

That is a difficult question. I am proposing the creation of two new institutions:

1. Assembly of the Commons. This will be a place or an institution where people who actually co-create common goods can meet, create a shared culture and create social charters and demands towards the policy world.

2. Chambers of the Commons. – Which is for all ethical entrepreneurs. People who create commons and who create livelihoods for the commons. They would also create their own institution.

The reason why they need to be separated is a bit like the separation of church and state. When you are in business you have certain priorities, when you are a citizen you have other priorities. I think it is better not to contaminate these two institutions and let them operate independently. For me they should recreate the politics around the commons., because what we have now is a politics around labour and labour is shrinking. All the victories we have achieved during the last 200 years are endangered because this force is diminishing.

* 3. HOW CAN WE COLLABORATE? WHAT KIND OF IMPACT WILL IT HAVE? WHERE DOES IT ALL LEAD TO?

I think a phase transition basically. Our world combines two things that are wrong:

1. On the one hand we believe nature is infinite. That is we have an endless growth economy that destroys nature.

2. Then we think that things that are abundant have to be made scarce so that they can be market goods

In order to survive we just “simply” – simple to say – reverse it:

* Recognize natural abundance and respect it and recognize natural scarcity and respect it.

* And doing this with social justice. These are the three planks that need to be combined. Commons can be a glue for that.

I want to replace the idea of labour with the idea of commons.

That is a glue that could unite different movements and parties because they all create common goods. They all have an interest in creating common goods.

* 4. WHAT REALLY HAS TO CHANGE IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE THE CHANGES WE WILL NEED?

That is really hard to answer. I’d say: everything needs to change at the same time. We need an integrative point of view, meaning look at all different aspects that need to change and then create feedback loops. We have to change as a person: stop wasting, stop chasing accumulation. We need to find other ways to relate with people, we need different ways of decision making. It is not one or the other, it is all interrelated. Have a vision that can connect those … most people are obsessed by one thing: consciousness has to change or culture has to change or machinery needs to change, the new software will solve this issue. None by itself is sufficient, you need an integrative point of view.

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