Session 8

Pe 02.05 klo 13-16

Afternoon: Peer-to-Peer networks and alternatives

The Foundation for P2P Alternatives

Michel Bauwens

‘The Political Economy of Peer Production’

"Not since Marx identified the manufacturing plants of Manchester as the blueprint for the new capitalist society has there been a deeper transformation of the fundamentals of our social life. As political, economic, and social systems transform themselves into distributed networks, a new human dynamic is emerging: peer to peer (P2P). As P2P gives rise to the emergence of a third mode of production, a third mode of governance, and a third mode of property, it is poised to overhaul our political economy in unprecedented ways. This essay aims to develop a conceptual framework (’P2P theory’) capable of explaining these new social processes." ..

"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."


"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."


Infrastructure, Communities and Corporations: is There a Middle Way Between Open and Closed?

"A market exists when there is a tension between supply and demand, and, in the world of immaterial communication and non-rival goods, requires partial enclosures and artificial scarcities. A digital commons creates abundant and freely available social value but is difficult to 'monetize' Or in other words: openness creates value but enclosure captures it. This is the key contradiction both for our digital communication infrastructure and for the content being produced on and through it. We have to ask ourselves: to which degree are the interests of peer producing and sharing communities both similar but also divergent with the owners of the infrastructures and the propietary platforms. If we value openness and freedom, what should and could be done, particularly about those that attempt limiting and enclosing them? Can we find a way of the middle that satisfies both communities and corporations? And is there a role for public authorities? Does it make sense for communities to strive for the 'distribution of everything' so that peer to peer dynamics can become more widespread?"

Emerging Communications (eComm) conference held in Mountain View, California, on Friday 14th March 2008.

P2P Foundation | Infrastructure,Communities & Corp | Michel Bauwens | eComm 2008


'i' The Film

'Argentina, Indymedia, and the Questions of Communication'
Watch: [i the film]

“i” is a meditation on the relationship between media and power as it is manifested by the worlds largest all volunteer network of media activists — Indymedia. The feature-length documentary follows the first year of a small collective in Buenos Aires as it struggles amidst assassinations, a collapsing economy, and a whirlwind of political upheaval. “i”is being distributed using an experimental, decentralized network-building method that mirrors the grassroots media-making the film is about."


Reclaim the Streets

"turning spectators into producers".. "what we were really organising a framework for activity. We decided upon a place and time and put out a call. We printed propaganda and press releases, trundled in a sound system, and set up legal teams to get people out of jail if they got arrested. But the actual shape the protest took on was determined by who showed up and what they did."

"Building a protest with an open architecture, we encouraged player modification. We saw what we were doing as opening up a space - literally, in terms of reclaiming a street from auto traffic and specialised use, but also metaphorically, by opening up a space for people to explore what political activism could mean for themselves."

Stephen Duncombe (2007). Dream: reimagining a progressive politic in the age of fantasy", The New Press, NY. p73.

Euro May Day


Other References

Michel Bauwens speaks at Swinburne University in Melbourne Australia about P2P, August 2007:

Belgian Integral Philosopher Michel Bauwens' Vision

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