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Re: Material peer production (was: Re: [ox-en] Motto for the 4th conference)

----- Original Message ----
From: Stefan Merten <smerten>
To: list-en
Cc: Stefan Merten <smerten>
Sent: Saturday, January 12, 2008 10:08:52 PM
Subject: Material peer production (was: Re: [ox-en] Motto for the 4th conference)

of course, not in the material field, but in my interpretation,
non-reciprocal peer production is by definition impossible in
physical production, except for the open design phase

I disagree. IMHO the important common denominator here is the labor.
Labor is necessary for material as well as immaterial products and in
this respect they are equal.

I agree that depletion of natural resources is an additional point for
material products but IMHO this is a different topic which belongs
much to a political sphere.


What is crucial here: peer to peer is characterized by the non-reciprocal logic of communal shareholding, as described in the relational grammar of Alan Page Fiske:free contributions, free availability

This is only possible because there either is a surplus of labour that can freely engage, or some form of unconditional income, or some short term voluntary precarity. That peer production exists is proof that these conditions exist to some degree. This can work with non-rival of anti-rival goods that are available for free.

HOWEVER, this can, at present, not work with rival material goods, unless you find a solution for cost-recovery and future investment.

This is the crucial point.

There are of course various ways in which the two can go together. One that comes to mind is open design communities linked to a built-only capitalism. This has the effect though of lowering the  range of profits I think. Better would be to combine open design with equity-based forms of  capital. But the crucial issue is this: when you start conditionally paying producers, you are no longer in peer production, but in cooperative production. I have nothing against it, but it is not peer production.

Ideally cooperative production can be linked to an open design commons. This is the route taken by the OS Alliance.

Dmytri,how do you see venture communism stack up against this (for this)?


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