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Re: [ox-en] Peer-to-peer Electricity and p2p theory

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Dear Martin,
I believe that both can go together.
On the one hand, organisational and technical systems are becoming distributed, it is the new norm, and are peer to peer. But in the system conforming way, these can be, and are used, to increase domination.
At the same time, peer to peer, and especially peer production and free software, has system-transcending effects, that cannot be fully be incorporated in the existing system. This is full peer to peer since its intentionality is to arrive at a generalised participatory civilisation and economy.
Furthermore, I believe that there is an increasing in-between world as well, i.e. anti-capitalist resistance is complemented by 'market-resistance', as independent producers have now direct and collective access to production resources, they are trying to mold the system to their interests. It is here that the netarchical capitalists come in, who enable and exploit the platforms. It is a mixture between anti-monopolistic minipreneurs, and platform-based monopolies.
If we accept that a market is inevitable, this does not mean adherence to monopolistic anti-market capitalism that we have today, but we can imagine, and construct a society and political economy, where the commons is central (i.e. peer production and peer governance), but supported by a reformed market and a reformed state. In this sense, there is a community of interest between knowledge workers who believe in markets (as would be the case in the US), and those that are more radical.
The analogy might be that the early forms of capitalism originally supported a 'reformed feudal' structure, with the nobles taking on new roles, the bourgeois become a new nobility (noblesse d'epee vs. noblesse de robe) and both factions united (or rather kept in balance) under absolutist rule. It is only after the French revolution that a more pure bourgeois-type society became dominant, i.e. it eventually displaced the old equilibrium. We can envisage scenarios whereby peer to peer initially strengthens a reformed capitalism, but still ultimately replacing it.
There are strong reasons to believe that such an evolution is likely.

martin hardie <martin.hardie> wrote:

the problem with oekenux theory is that you are not allowed to talk
about the system-confirming aspects of P2P production. This is a
heresy here and many have been burnt for it in the past.

I have found your stuff useful in the past so I will go and look at
the links. Iam glad that you recognise that P2P is productive of
capitalism. This is what I have been finding as I look at the history
of both unix and linux. But it is hard to do this if one is stuck in
the logic of free as in freedom


On 26/09/05, Michael Bouwens wrote:
Dear Oekonux-readers:

My apologies for barging in: this is just to announce
my presence on the list, to which I look forward to
participate in the non-technical discussions (I'm not
a programmer/developer).

As some might know, I have been working on a
manuscript on peer to peer theory, which in summary

- that we are witnessing the birth of a new social
formation, based on the intersubjective dynamics at
work in distributed networks
- that it has both system-confirming (as the
infrastructure of a new kind of distributed
capitalism) but also system-transcending effects
- amongst the latter are its expressions as peer
production (which includes, but is not limited to free
software), peer governance, and the new common
property regimes (mostly unlicensed and thus not all
under GPL and associated licences)

In my newsletter, at, I
have recently paid quite a bit of attention to 'P2P
Capitalism' vs. 'P2P Cooperation'developments (see
item headings), which I think are quite of interest to
this list. I have recently starting working more with
thematic issues which recapitulate trends on peer
governance, politics, technology, theory, etc.. For
example the peer to peer electricity item fits in with
issue 94 which will focus on technological

I have been enormously influenced by Oekonux and the
manuscript at
contains several endnotes with Oekonux material.
I am in broad agreement with the GPL Society thesis,
the only difference being that I see free software as
a subset of peer production, but perhaps this list
thinks that as well?

Michel Bauwens

--- magius wrote:

Microgrids as peer-to-peer energy

Alternative energy technologies are falling in price
Small networks of power generators in "microgrids"
could transform the
electricity network in the way that the net changed

(.....) As an analogy, the microgrids could work
like peer-to-peer
file-sharing technologies, such as BitTorrents,
where demand is split
up and shared around the network of "users".
Contact: projekt

Yahoo! Mail - PC Magazine Editors' Choice 2005
Contact: projekt

Contact: projekt

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Contact: projekt

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