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[ox-en] Re: [p2p-research] [p2pf] Launch of P2P Research Group

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Hi Marc,

I think we have two separate two things:

1) a practical and political agenda, around areas of common agreements, but
with people coming from various frameworks

2) I think that a P2P Theory should be left as a pluralist matter, i.e. I'm
promoting/talking about my own understandings, in dialogue with all the
others participating, but with each of us having different, sometimes
radically so, theoretical points of view.

For example, I'm very happy to dialogue and work with Kevin, though we
differ on the matter of the state etc...

The theory behind the action should probably be limited to a limited number
of principles, again a little bit like a constitution, that we all agree on

What we/you could do is set up a separate, to focus on the
political/action-oriented work.

I really want to keep p2p-f open as a platform for as much open dialogue and
documentation as possible,


On Sat, Apr 18, 2009 at 4:42 PM, marc fawzi <marc.fawzi> wrote:

Hi Michel,

It's definitely good to separate the specific P2P research group agenda
with Hull (despite the affiliation with P2Pf, if given) and the "Collective
Theory and Action Agenda" for P2Pf.

I think that individual voices represented in your P2P Theory (and in the
stuff you pasted below, which can be see as being in your voice since you're
promoting it) and in the voices of all contributors e.g. Franz, Chris, Sam,
Patrick, Nathan, Eric, et al (please forgive me as I have not looked at the
list of individual contributors and I'm just listing those names I have come
across here in the last 6 months) together can be combined (in terms of
their stated goals) with the goals of any implementation projects (if any
are cataloged and followed by P2Pf) to produce a collective presentation of
P2P Theory and Action Agenda.

So how about going after a Collective Theory and Action Agenda for P2P
Foundation and then narrowing that down to an Official P2P Foundation Theory
and Action Agenda?


On Sat, Apr 18, 2009 at 1:55 AM, Michel Bauwens <michelsub2004>wrote:


you are talking about a p2p political manifesto right? (not the one for
the research group)

I'd like to offer two list of theses for your inspiration:

Appendix 1: *: Summary theses on the emergence of the peer to peer
civilization and political economy*

1. Our current world system is marked by a profoundly counterproductive
logic of social organization:

a) it is based on a false concept of abundance in the limited material
world; it has created a system based on infinite growth, within the confines
of finite resources

b) it is based on a false concept of scarcity in the infinite immaterial
world; instead of allowing continuous experimental social innovation, it
purposely erects legal and technical barriers to disallow free cooperation
through copyright, patents, etc…

2. Therefore, the number one priority for a sustainable civilization is
overturning these principles into their opposite:

a) we need to base our physical economy on a recognition of the finitude
of natural resources, and achieve a sustainable steady-state economy

b) we need to facilitate free and creative cooperation and lower the
barriers to such exchange by reforming the copyright and other restrictive

3. Hierarchy, markets, and even democracy are means to allocate scarce
resources through authority, pricing, and negotiation; they are not
necessary in the realm of the creation and free exchange of immaterial
value, which will be marked by bottom-up forms of peer governance

4. Markets, as means to to manage scarce physical resources, are but one
of the means to achieve such allocation, and need to be divorced from the
idea of capitalism, which is a system of infinite growth.

5. The creation of immaterial value, which again needs to become dominant
in a post-material world which recognized the finiteness of the material
world, will be characterized by the further emergence of non-reciprocal peer

6. Peer production is a more productive system for producing immaterial
value than the for-profit mode, and in cases of the asymmetric competition
between for-profit companies and for-benefit institutions and communities,
the latter will tend to emerge

7. Peer production produces more social happiness, because 1) it is based
on the highest from of individual motivation, nl. intrinsic positive
motivation; 2) it is based on the highest form of collective cooperation,
nl. synergestic cooperation characterized by four wins (both the
participants in the exchange , the community, and the universal system)

8. Peer governance, the bottom-up mode of participative decision-making
(only those who participate get to decide) which emerges in peer projects is
politically more productive than representative democracy, and will tend to
emerge in immaterial production. However, it can only replace representative
modes in the realm of non-scarcity, and will be a complementary mode in the
political realm. What we need are political structures that create a
convergence between individual and collective interests.

9. Peer property, the legal and institutional means for the social
reproduction of peer projects, are inherently more distributive than both
public property and private exclusionary property; it will tend to become
the dominant form in the world of immaterial production (which includes all
design of physical products).

10. Peer to peer as the relational dynamic of free agents in distributed
networks will likely become the dominant mode for the production of
immaterial value; however, in the realm of scarcity, the peer to peer logic
will tend to reinforce peer-informed market modes, such as fair trade; and
in the realm of the scarcity based politics of group negotiation, will lead
to reinforce the peer-informed state forms such as multistakeholdership
forms of governance.

11. The role of the state must evolve from the protector of dominant
interests and arbiter between public regulation and privatized corporate
modes (an eternal and improductive binary choice), towards being the arbiter
between a triarchy of public regulation, private markets, and the direct
social production of value. In the latter capacity, it must evolve from the
welfare state model, to the partner state model, as involved in enabling and
empowering the direct social creation of value.

12. The world of physical production needs to be characterized by:

a) sustainable forms of peer-informed market exchange (fair trade, etc..);

b) reinvigorated forms of reciprocity and the gift economy;

c) a world based on social innovation and open designs, available for
physical production anywhere in the world.

13. The best guarantor of the spread of the peer to peer logic to the
world of physical production, is the distribution of everything, i.e. of the
means of production in the hands of individuals and communities, so that
they can engage in social cooperation. While the immaterial world will be
characterized by a peer to peer logic on non-reciprocal generalized
exchange, the peer informed world of material exchange will be characterized
by evolving forms of reciprocity and neutral exchange.

14. We need to move from empty and ineffective anti-capitalist rhetoric,
to constructive post-capitalist construction. Peer to peer theory, as the
attempt to create a theory to understand peer production, governance and
property, and the attendant paradigms and value systems of the open/free,
participatory, and commons oriented social movements, is in a unique
position to marry the priority values of the right, individual freedom, and
the priority values of the left, equality. In the peer to peer logic, one is
the condition of the other, and cooperative individualism marries
equipotentiality and freedom in a context of non-coercion.

15. We need to become politically sensitive to invisible architectures of
power. In distributed systems, where there is no overt hierarchy, power is a
function of design. One such system, perhaps the most important of all, is
the monetary system, whose interest-bearing design requires the market to be
linked to a system of infinite growth, and this link needs to be broken. A
global reform of the monetary system, or the spread of new means of direct
social production of money, are necessary conditions for such a break.

16. This is the truth of the peer to peer logical of social relationships:
1) together we have everything; 2) together we know everything. Therefore,
the conditions for dignified material and spiritual living are in our hands,
bound with our capacity to relate and form community. The emancipatory peer
to peer theory does not offer new solutions for global problems, but most of
all new means to tackle them, by relying on the collective intelligence of
humankind. We are witnessing the rapid emergence of peer to peer toolboxes
for the virtual world, and facilitation techniques of the physical world of
face to face encounters, both are needed to assist in the necessary change
of consciousness that needs to be midwifed. It is up to us to use them.

17. At present, the world of corporate production is benefiting from the
positive externalities of widespread social innovation (innovation as an
emerging property of the network itself, not as an internal characteristic
of any entity), but there is no return mecachism, leading to the problem of
precarity. Now that the productivity of the social is beyond doubt, we need
solutions that allow the state and for-profit corporation to create return
mechanisms, such as forms of income that are no longer directly related to
the private production of wealth, but reward the social production of

Appendix 3: A legal and regulatory framework for the participative society

1) In the immaterial sphere

a)      diminish artificial scarcities in the informational field so that
immense social value can be created, and immaterial conviviality can replace
the deadly logic of material accumulation.

b)      Public authorities adapt Partner State policies that enable and
empower the direct creation of social value

2)  In the sphere of materiality

a) introduce true costing in the material field so that the market no
longer creates negative exernalities in the natural environment; dissociate
the marketplace from the system of infinite material growth

3) create more distributed access to the means of production (peer-based
financing, distributed energy production, etc…) so that the peer to peer
dynamic can be introduced in the sphere of material production as well.

On Sat, Apr 18, 2009 at 3:50 PM, marc fawzi <marc.fawzi> wrote:

If the relationship is recognized formally then that's beneficial to both
P2Pf and Hull University, IMHO.

It will allow the loose bunch of us (all contributors) whose only
relationship to P2Pf is the trust we have in you personally to extend that
trust in working with the P2P Research Group. It's a win win.

And then we can leverage that (or "build on it") to pursue the idea of an
advisory board for P2Pf.

Having said that, I don't see a way around peer producing The P2P Agenda
(or Manifesto)

I'll be happy to start that process using the agile methodology, but I am
more bandwidth starved now compared to 5 months ago so the writing will
start awkwardly, trickle at first but I'm sure it will eventually mature.


On Sat, Apr 18, 2009 at 1:18 AM, Michel Bauwens <michelsub2004

On Sat, Apr 18, 2009 at 3:00 PM, marc fawzi <marc.fawzi>wrote:


My questions to you:

1. Is the P2P Research Group affiliated with P2P Foundation such that
we can say that P2P Foundation has a collaboration initiative with a
recognized [academic] institution?  Else, what new progress are we
leveraging? and if nothing then why wasn't this pursued earlier? Is it just
that no one had the time to write a manifesto or constitution? (which leads
to #2)

Hi Marc, this initiative was discussed in Nottingham in 2007, at our 2nd
informal p2p meet-up, but because of funding and other difficulties, Athina
only confirmed in Manchester, that she could start the process now.

Athina can provide us with some of the legal background to having it
established it in Hull, and presumably, there will be some institutional
limitations related to the funder's point of view.

As to the precise relationship between this and p2p-f, it is not clear
to me, but I would say that I would like the two to be related somehow, how
this can be done in a formal or legal way I don't know, but at the minimum,
I would like that relationship to be recognized. Of course, I'm not implying
any dependency, but rather a reputational/relational value linkage.

The new that we can leverage will be hopefully : 1) funding for meetings
2) funding for specific research.

I think that recognizing p2p as a legimitate research area is an
important goal to achieve.

And no, we haven't had time to write up anything on it yet, giving tha
the decision was only made in Manchester 2-3 weeks ago.

2. Does there have to be some major write up or presentation of P2P
Foundation goals, etc?

There are various statements etc ... already up in the wiki, such as the
about page. If you want more, I have nothing against it, though I don't feel
a particular need for that one. I would be more concerned with a
constitution for the research group, and eventually later, with a more
explicit political statement that could lead to the creation of a political
wing, whenever the time is ripe for that. For the p2p-f in the narrow sense,
I think we have enough, as it has to be open and pluralist enough to serve
for various purposes, with people which may have different political points
of view

My answer to your question:

I'm willing and able to do as much as help shape and carry the
message... which is to say that I'm ready to do my part as part of a team
effort. Ryan's and others' help would be necessary, too.

Task delegation model:

I think we could go with a conditional publish-subscribe model for task
delegation whereby the initiator would be willing to commit time and energy
to their declared objective if there are others who are willing to commit
time and energy to it, too.

My experience is the following. Every task/project needs one or more
'owner-maintainer-gardener'(s) ... This does not mean the person has to do
everything, but just feel responsible for it, and push it so that it goes

When I'm asking somebody else, just as you in this case, this is my
wish, and my committment is to help, but I cannot carry it, because of the
already overwhelming combination of tasks I have set myself.

If you take the lead, other people will surely follow,

If not, if despite your leadership it doesn't happen, it means the time
is not ripe, or our context is not favourable, but we can at least try,



On Sat, Apr 18, 2009 at 12:35 AM, Michel Bauwens <
michelsub2004> wrote:


just so we understand each other, I'm talking for a board of advisors
for the p2p foundation, not for the p2p research group, which is a separate

do you agree with starting the process, perhaps through a wiki page,
P2P Wisdom Council ?

Lessig is going to be difficult I think (I'll explain that separately,
as this is a public mailing list), but I'm much more hopeful with people
like Yochai Benkler, Howard Rheingold, and others,

I just need one 'co-owner' to start this, but don't want to do this
entirely on my own,


On Sat, Apr 18, 2009 at 2:29 PM, marc fawzi <marc.fawzi>wrote:

Hi Michel,

It's the next logical move, IMO, after having gained a recognized
university/academic collaborator in the UK. I guess I can talk to yourself
and Athina about the existing collaborative project with Hull so I can lay
out the case for further academic collaboration in the context of a board of

I had communicated with Lessig once very casually during his
considering to run for Congress and he replied right away and in meaningful
and genuine way.

Overall, I find it fairly easy to get a genuine response back from
actual intellectuals as they don't tend to play the politics of artificial
self-scarcity (I also know that pseudo intellectuals who are in it for money
and power tend to raise their self importance by not answering emails from
people they don't know or being extremely slow in response or very
superficial etc... so we have an automatic filter right there by being
relatively unknown.)

My issue is that I'm not too familiar with the who's who of the P2P
world. I only know of Larry Lessig for his copyright reform efforts but I'm
sure we can dig up a few people at MIT and Harvard, but it should work like
a domino effect.

This would be a good idea, IMO, and if I fail at it then the issue
would be just mine not of the idea itself so another person can try again,
although I don't wanna waste any bullets so to speak.

I'll look for separate discussion email from you with appropriate


On Fri, Apr 17, 2009 at 11:16 PM, Michel Bauwens <
michelsub2004> wrote:

Hi Marc,

as you perhaps know, the P2P Foundation is both a global informal
group, but with a dormant legal entity under Dutch law, which already has a

I'm more interested in setting up a board of advisors, with people
who could lend their prestige to our projects, by accepting to sit in this

Would you be willing to help me with this, so as to make it a
reality? It's an old project and dream of mine, which got lost on the
sideways, but if you're willing to take the co-lead, I can work on it. We
should start by drawing a list of names.

If you agree, and since it is not a research issue, perhaps we can
use the p2pf mailing list to work on it? I can also create a wiki page to
consolidate suggestions. Once we have an agreed list, we can start
approaching them individually,


On Sat, Apr 18, 2009 at 6:55 AM, marc fawzi <marc.fawzi>wrote:

Hi Michel,

Would it make sense to setup a "board of directors" kind of entity
(but not call it that per se) for the P2P Foundation with people who bring
extravagant weight.. the likes of Lessig and people of his reach and



On Fri, Apr 17, 2009 at 3:37 PM, Ryan Lanham <
rlanham1963> wrote:

I applaud this initiative and bravo to those offering the
funding.  On the other hand, lists of  "researchers" meaning people at
academic institutions who write papers for journals seems a failed model
that is less in need of reinforcement than rejection.

Research in an academic sense is not p2p, hasn't been, and never
will be.  I would not exclude it, I just would feed it by giving it
additional free assets of prestige and focus without their earning those
resources in open (truly open) communities.

Ryan Lanham

On Tue, Apr 7, 2009 at 5:09 AM, Michel Bauwens <
michelsub2004> wrote:

    I´m extremely happy to announce this initiative, which will
enable people interested in p2p dynamics to more easily appeal for research

B  elow is a short announcement from Athina Karatzogianni, please
ask for the document that she is referring to in her email listed below. If
you are involved with research, academic or not, please let us know and do
forward this message to other networks.

If you have no access to the attached document, please request
one from Athina via email

Michel Bauwens


"The P2P Foundation <> in collaboration
with the University of Hull <>are creating
a P2PResearch Group (P2PRG) with a physical base in Hull, in order to
initiate a material equivalent to the various virtual networks we are all
part of. Some of the goals of the group are to attract funding to improve
already existent infrastructures, create more material and immaterial
networks and hubs and capture funding for research, conferences and
workshops. A conference scheduled for November will also produce a direct
and transparent steering committee to oversee the various activities of the
group. Therefore, it would be particularly helpful, if everyone, who is
interested in participating, fills as much information as they can, in the
document attached, and email it to Athina<>at

see and forward doc attached (please edit doc michel as you see


Dr Athina Karatzogianni
Lecturer in Media, Culture and Society
The Dean's Representative (Chinese Partnerships)
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
The University of Hull
United Kingdom
T: ++44 (0) 1482 46 5790
F: ++44 (0) 1482 466107

Dr Athina Karatzogianni
Lecturer in Media, Culture and Society
The Dean's Representative (Chinese Partnerships)
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
The University of Hull
United Kingdom
T: ++44 (0) 1482 46 5790
F: ++44 (0) 1482 466107

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Marc Fawzi

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Marc Fawzi

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Monitor updates at

The work of the P2P Foundation is supported by SHIFTN,


Marc Fawzi

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Monitor updates at

The work of the P2P Foundation is supported by SHIFTN,


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