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[ox-en] apples and moonfruits

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An answer to Stefan Meretz at

I'm paraphrasing his argument: "pesticide-laden apples are bad, we have to
abolish them and eat pure moonfruit". I say, why not eat organic pears in
the meantime. Stefan answers, no, that would just reproduce the fruit-eating
we want to get rid off ... Pesticide-laden apples and organic pears are just
the same, I want moonfruit .. The only problem is of course, there is no

and on and on it goes, so here is my response to his very superficial
critique (it is strange that both Stefan's never ever want to engage in a
simple argument about what they reject about the transformation of the means
of exchange ...)

Here's the counter-argument:

Thanks for bringing that article up, Stefan, but no thanks for your

The issue is rather simple: do you believe that this system can instantly
change to another logic, even if the multitudes had taken over political

Since you are in many ways a marxist, we know that Marx answered an emphatic
no to that question, saying for example that the state could not be simply
'abolished' but would 'wither away'.

The same goes for money. Do you envisage that money can be abolished at a
stroke, or not. My answer is: no.

So you come to the next question: if you cannot abolish money, do you want
to keep its current design elements, which are intimately wedded to the
current political economy of capital, or do you want to tackle the issue of
protocollary power, i.e. change the design elements of the current system,
which most induce negative social behaviours, such as for example its
infinite growth mechanisms, or its engineered scarcity?

Take Facebook, do you believe that its private ownership does not induce
certain protocols, that induce certain behaviours which are more in the
interest of the owners? Surely, if the users were owners, they would change
a number of things, such as instituting full data portability.

The same for money, it's not a black box, but it has protocols and design
elements which need to  be tackled, not in the future, but today.

Indeed, we cannot wait until the 'multitudes' take political power, but we
have to construct new social relationships in the here and now, conditio
sine qua non to be strong enough one day to achieve a phase transition.

This is why we have to embrace value-sensitive design, and protocollary
power, tackle the invisible infrastructures, and not, like you propose,
venerate the Golden Calf of current money as a black box which is beyond
change, while dreaming impotently of the perfect world of tomorrow.

The point is precisely to avoid the same holy shit. Who sincerely believes
that you can institute, 'right now', direct social mediation between peers?

Are you practicing it? Can you practice it? The truth is, we cannot, or only
in very limited ways.

And while we cannot, we can start using different protocols of exchange and
sharing that already change social relationships.

It is either that, or waiting for a Pol Pot,


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