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Re: [ox-en] Stock Markets and a GPL Society

On Fri, 21 Dec 2001, Stefan Merten wrote:

Stock markets as they are today are based on money. In a GPL society
money would be not needed, so there is no base for stock markets as we
know them. After all money constitutes - and is constituted by -
coercion / power and these things limit self-unfolding.

  I don't know if this is being explained well, if I am understanding it
right, or if possibly I disagree.

  The Stock Market has a number of components:

  - there is the shared-ownership aspect which for some physical resources
(IE: computers) will still make sense, although I believe
worker-cooperatives are a better model than traditional shareholder-owned

  - there is the capital-investment.  With the orders-of-magnitude lower
cost of entry into a "Free Software" styled marketplace, people can grow
their personal businesses without the need for external loans or
investments or other forms of large debt (which leads to the
coercion/power that is being discussed here - let's not even talk about
how this is playing out currently with what is being done to countries
like Argentina).

  - there is the gambling component - Most societies are starting to
recognize that gambling can lead to addictions and other dependencies, and
lump this as a health issue.  It is unfortunate that far too few people
recognize that our economies are "sick" for the same reason why we
consider people who hang out in casinos all day are "sick".

  In many (most?) cases, this gambling component far outstrips the other
two components by several orders of magnitude, and many people blame
"money" itself for this sickness.  Money is just an accounting system, and
regardless of what economic system one has there will be some form of
money/accounting, even if it looks nothing like money does today.
  IE: I'm a fan of LETS type systems that don't have interest, and assumes
that 'balance' is zero.  Having a small negative-or-positive balance is
what is good, with large numbers in either direction being recognized as
equally a problem to the community.

P.S.  I've been mostly just reading this forum.  I'm not sure I'm on the
same wavelength as others here and have my own thoughts of what I would
consider a "GPL society".  I like the whole self-unfolding concept, but
find that there are too many traditional industrial left-and-right beliefs
that are still being discussed here as well.  In essence, we may look
abstractly at older ideas to look for wisdom that still applies, but
believe that we would be best to avoid constraining ourselves too much
based on economic and other models that quite possibly do not apply at all
to a post-Industrial economy.

 Russell McOrmond, Internet Consultant: <>
 See for announcements, activities, and opinions
 "If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise,
  we don't believe in it at all." -- Noam Chomsky


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