The Political Economy of Peer Production

Linked with Michel Bauwens – Belgium & Thailand, with The cult of Ken Wilber, with The Foundation for P2P Alternatives, and with FIVE FUNDAMENTAL ERRORS.

1000 Days of Theory – td026, by Michel Bauwens, published 12/1/2005, Arthur and Marilouise Kroker, Editors

Excerpt: … Peer to Peer: P2P does not refer to all behavior or processes that takes place in distributed networks: P2P specifically designates those processes that aim to increase the most widespread participation by equipotential participants. We will define these terms when we examine the characteristics of P2P processes, but here are the most general and important characteristics.

P2P processes:

  • - produce use-value through the free cooperation of producers who have access to distributed capital: this is the P2P production mode, a ‘third mode of production’ different from for-profit or public production by state-owned enterprises. Its product is not exchange value for a market, but use-value for a community of users.
  • - are governed by the community of producers themselves, and not by market allocation or corporate hierarchy: this is the P2P governance mode, or ‘third mode of governance.’
  • - make use-value freely accessible on a universal basis, through new common property regimes. This is its distribution or ‘peer property mode’: a ‘third mode of ownership,’ different from private property or public (state) property.

(full text).

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