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Re: [ox-en] New economic model for free technology?

Stephan, thanks for the clarifications, my responses
are below,


--- Stefan Merten <smerten> wrote:


Hi Michel and all!

6 days ago Michael Bouwens wrote:
To preserve 'peer production' as such, the basic
income is the only solution I see to create the
independence of the producers, but it will
never cover the full needs.

Why? People have lots of hobbies and creation of
Free Software is
surely among the cheapest. I can not understand why
people constantly
say that you can only be useful to Free Projects if
you are paid for
it. Any reason?

Because we have to eat. Unemployment money is fine,
but it is conditional and insecure; a basic income
would be unconditional and secure, and a big boost to
those who want to do peer production but are not
materially able to do so at present.

Also there is already a big share of people with
basic income: the
unemployed. Wouldn't it make sense to activate this
potential? Or: Why
is this potential not realizing itself?

Yes, absolutely, if more unemployed would realise that
a life of 'full activity' is open to them, it would
change their lives for the better, and they would feel
part of society, rather than excluded.

Therefore, following Fiske's fourfold

What is the missing sphere?

there are for: equality matching, authority ranking,
market pricing and communal shareholding

i.e. the modes that have always existed
across time and space, we still need solutions for
other 3 spheres:

 - for reciprocity-based relations, we need
complementary currencies

Two questions: Why is human society thinkable only
reciprocity-based relations? Why must they resolved
by something like

As recognized by Marx, we cannot get through the a
full communist society, full indifferientated sharing,
without passing through a socialist economy, based on
equality sharing, you get what you contribute.

Peer production at this stage, in the next stage,
would still need a material economy needing capital

Thus a market exchange sphere, and a reciprocity based
sphere (based on time dollars) would provide the
necessary support for pure peer production. It's not
an either/or thing, but a way to get there.

To me reciprocity-based relations are mainly a mean
to distribute
pain. If it would not mean pain to do / produce
something but pleasure
I hardly would make it subject to reciprocity.

Yes, but in some cases, reciprocity is better, more
fair, more just, than market exchange. In reciprocity,
one hour of labour equals another. It is ideal for the
exchange of services, while market exchange works
better with products.

Shouldn't we strive
for a world where pain is reduced to zero and thus
reciprocity is made
superfluous? And - and this is the good news - is
this option not more
likely today than any time before in human history?

Absolutely, but can we envisage a straight line from
capitalism to pure peer production?

 - for market pricing, I think that a form of
'distributed capitalism', where producers are not
dependent on scarce money managed by monopolies,
a  scheme will still be useful

Is this different from alternative money systems?

I think there can be different "money systems", one
for reciprocity based schemes, one for the market,
they would work differently; the latter not based on
time dollars, but on exchange value, however the
protocol of such money would be much different, as
described by Bernard Lietaer and others.

For peer production to succeed or expand, I think

1) the basic income for pure P2P in the immaterial

Well, so far Free Software worked without it. Why do
you think it is
necessary in other areas?

Free software has mostly worked with salaries derived
from the capitalist market economy, or from government
jobs or welfare payments. I'm talking of taking it out
of the hobby sphere, to make it a generalized
phenomenon that is widely accessible to the population
on a full-time basis.

2) to split immaterial design from material
through funding by the state or distributed

I don't understand what you mean by splitting
immaterial design from
material production and how this needs special
funding. Could you

Take any capital intensive industry. The model now is
you need private capital for both the design phase and
the production phase.

If you separate the two, government or companies could
write out specs, say for a new green car, and P2P
teams would start working on it. When it is ready,
capital would be use for production of the car. Better
 yet, if capital were itself distributed, corporations
would not be needed even for that phase.


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