[ox-en] Re: The Future of Un-Money // was "Re: There IS such a thing as peer money"
- From: "Michel Bauwens" <michelsub2004 gmail.com>
- Date: Sat, 20 Dec 2008 04:15:23 +0700
[Converted from multipart/alternative]
I personally do not object to your usage of peer money, as long as we know
what is meant, which is why I tried to clear the conceptual place.
Neither my own p2p theory nor oekonux has any monopoly on the "peer" term,
but as you know understand, in our frame, it is somewhat contradictary, but
while Stefan only accepts capitalist money in the transition, I call for and
support efforts to change the current monetary protocols ...
On Wed, Dec 17, 2008 at 3:48 AM, marc fawzi <marc.fawzi gmail.com> wrote:
Some of you did not see this reply (came empty?), so I'm taking the
opportunity to send you a fuller version of it.
Per your articulation of "peer informed money" vs. the ideal "p2p society,"
I now get where Stefan is coming from with his statement that there is no
such thing as "peer money" ...
Indeed, labels are often used for convenience and commonality, so instead
of proliferating and splintering ad infinitum we tend to use common labels,
e.g. peer money, to refer to a common context, even where a new label (in
this case: peer informed money) would be more accurate.
The case for standardized labeling is if we were to label the same roads on
a map using different names then chances are people will have a hard time
following us to our common destination.
I'm going out on a limb here in saying that the penultimate replacement for
money (or "un-money") for the ideal p2p society would be non-tokenized,
natural energy transfer as opposed to capturing and transferring various
forms of energy (e.g. work energy, creative energy, emotional energy, mental
energy, 'intentional' energy, etc) as "tokens"
I agree that as we drive toward the same destination, we should not "dead
end" certain lanes of the highway so that only a few of us would make it to
the destination. All lanes should remain open and the various exits on the
way labeled in a standard way.
And I agree that we have to recognize when we're on the road vs having
arrived at our destination. For now, we're definitely still on the road, so
the concept of "no money, "which is basically moving away from tokenized
energy transfer, e.g. I pay $1 for a bus ride, to non-tokenized energy
transfer, e.g. the bus is powered by the energy of its passengers, is what
we will ultimately end up with, IMO, but we don't have the technology yet
for such universal, non-tokenized, natural energy transfer. By "energy" I
mean all forms (work energy, creative energy, emotional energy,
'intentional' energy, mental energy, spiritual energy, i.e. "energy in all
In other words, the natural flow on energy in its all forms between people
is the ultimate "un-money"
I may add an addendum explaining non-tokenized energy transfer, which to
me, would make the ultimate "un-money" but it's so far out that it would
only serve the most forward looking individuals, and only on a metaphysical
level, so it may end up in an article on its own, separate from the ideas
for the near future expressed in the P2P Social Currency<http://p2pfoundation.net/P2P_Social_Currency_Model>article.
On Mon, Dec 15, 2008 at 12:10 AM, Michel Bauwens <
michelsub2004 gmail.com> wrote:
I would just like to clarify something, about the concept of peer money,
taking into account's Stefan's critique
First of all, I agree with Stefan that peer production should be
used to moneyless processes involving voluntary contributions and
availability of the resulting common value.
In this sense, peer money is contradictory.
However, at present, peer to peer dynamics exist within a broader field
dominated by market (and state) processes, and it is of interest to peer
producers that the context in which it operates is as close as possible
the non-alienating values of p2p.
Thus it is legimate that it is our wish to move towards a peer-informed
society and context, at least until such time as a presumable fuller p2p
society would exist, in which even lots of physical resources could
be produced and distributed in such a way.
I think it is crucial to think about such distinctions, between peer
and peer-informed money and processes, the latter not being a
(however, there remains a theoretical possibility of peer money: if
were some unconditional way to reward peer producers, with some form of
value that were usable outside the peer production process itself, that
could probably be characterized as peer money?)
So, one of the questions is then, how to reform the market structures?
A crucial aspect of this reform is to reform/transform the monetary
to arrive at a peer-informed monetary system. This involves refusing the
built-in infinite growth protocol of existing capitalist money, and
money and finances with value-sensitive designs.
Otherwise we arrive at the, in my opinion, absurd position of Stefan,
basically says: until such time as we have a peer to peer society, we
happy to let capitalist money be, 'because it's all money anyway'.
Such a position is similar as the one saying: fascism and the keynesian
welfare state are all manifestations of bourgeois society, there the
anyway, so we don't choose one over the other.
No, they are not the same, and neither are the current system producing
financial meltdown, and alternative value-conscious, peer-informed
systems that have totally different results for social and natural
So, in this sense, a project like Marc's called peer money for
sake, is totally legitimate and important,
On Mon, Dec 15, 2008 at 6:30 AM, marc fawzi <marc.fawzi gmail.com>
[Converted from multipart/alternative]
Hi Stephan, Michel, Sam, others,
I tend to see Stefan's argument that there is no such thing as "peer
is a case of one person's operative reality versus that of another,
case of discourse within a globally or locally shared reality.
Here is the latest draft of the P2P Currency model I've been working
(with simplified arguments and clearer construction)
And here is a particularly interesting endorsement <http://gredit.org>
the shared reality I'm working within, from a European based group
Google Credit, a project that is in the running for the Google 10^100
(see Article of the Year Award on right hand side under video). I have
relation to them and did not know they exist up till a few days ago.
There are many others who have the same operative reality as myself,
or in part, when it comes to the peer money and peer credit.
I'm working on game design that would energetically align people's
realities with my own, i.e. to create a locally shared reality by
people's perceptions through imagination.
Iff money, not just peer money, can be derived and used more
then there is nothing in my (and other people's) operative reality
its existence. In fact, it's existence is demanded in such scenario,
because of pragmatism (and knowledge of the current maturity of man,
of) and partly because such new money would enable society to take a
qualitivate step in the right direction.
I hope this enables further discussion.
*From: Stefan Merten* <smerten oekonux.de> Reply-To:
To: list-en oekonux.org
Cc: Stefan Merten <smerten oekonux.de>
Date: Mon, Jun 30, 2008 at 9:57 AM
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Sorry for being so quiet but - as usual - the conference preparation
eats up a lot of my free time / energy.
The following is something I promised Michel to do. It has been
triggered by the use of the term "peer money" which I think is a
contradiction in terms. This is an attempt to give reasons why I think
that money and peer production are generally in contradiction.
Having said that I should also say that they can walk together for
some time but according to germ form theory that is no contradiction
to the contradiction thesis. But one should keep in mind that to use
money for peer production projects is always a twisted approach
because of that contradiction.
The approach below is based on comparing features of money and peer
production. In that it is also a contribution to further define peer
* Structural force vs. volunteering
Money is a structural force used to force your will onto others.
This is exactly what we call buying - though it doesn't sound so
nice. If you would not need to force others to do something (for
you) you don't need to pay them.
Compared to direct force like violence money is a structural force
because it is indirect. As such it needs a societal framework to be
effective at all: Payment makes no sense unless the payee can buy
Peer production on the other hand is largely based on volunteering.
Volunteering, however, is the exact opposite of being forced to do
something. Someone volunteers for a task because it is own wish to
do something. In fact the volunteering is a central feature of
* Scarcity vs. ampleness
Money is based on scarcity. In fact in a way it encodes scarcity as
a societal concept to a so-called real abstraction. In fact money
which is not scarce in some way simply makes no sense. If I am
allowed to create arbitrary amounts of money at every time why
should I require the money of others at all?
Peer production on the other hand is based on ampleness of the
product. All examples we found so far for peer production are based
on ampleness (which is simpler to have in the digital world). In
fact ampleness of the product is the typical goal of peer production
* Force needed to keep vs. built-in sustainability
I said that money encodes scarcity as a general principle of
society. However, money being an abstraction is not scarce by itself
- everybody can print more dollars. Thus scarcity must be enforced
by some external means. Typically this is done by the state. In
effect each money system needs a forceful super-structure to keep it
Peer production on the other hand is based on a built-in
sustainability. A peer production project is not based on some
abstract principle but on the need for / want of a perfect solution
for a problem. It needs no external means to keep a peer production
project up. All the power comes from within.
* Abstract vs. concrete
One of the central features of money is that it is abstract. Money
is not related to any concrete thing - which you easily understand
when you look at the global flow of money compared to the global
flow of goods.
Peer production projects on the other hand are always concrete. The
goals are concrete and the effort spent is for concrete reasons.
* Reduction vs. multi-facet perspective
Money is always a reduction - which is in fact the central feature
of an abstraction. The result is that huge bunches of concrete
aspects are projected into a number.
In peer production projects on the other hand a multi-facet
perspective is the rule. Though at some times decisions need to be
made which prefer one possible way over an other possible way these
decisions are made by a complex consideration of many relevant
* Exchange value orientation vs. use value orientation
Money based production is based on a orientation on exchange value:
You produce because you want to exchange your product for money. The
product itself does not matter to you and it is totally sufficient
to produce relative quality and relative use.
In peer production projects on the other hand the very reason of a
project is producing use value. Why should a peer production exist
at all otherwise?
* Alienation vs. Selbstentfaltung
While money is based on alienation from things and humans peer
production is based on Selbstentfaltung of humans - which is the
opposite of alienation.
* Immorality included vs. no immorality
Money as an alienated principle can be used to to immoral things -
like waging wars. This is something we all know and bemoan more
often than not.
Peer production on the other hand is based on volunteering and
nobody volunteers for goals which s/he finds immoral.
I'll stop here looking forward to responses and further insights.
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