" />
Building a world of
resilient communities.

MAIN LIST

 

Michael Bauwens: Patterns that point to the future

“Can we find patterns today that point to the future?”

On Monday, October 24, Michel Bauwens of the Foundation for Peer-to-Peer Alternatives spoke at the Institute for the Future (IFTF) in Palo Alto about how the innovations and values of P2P are enabling a third revolution in human productivity and transforming capitalism. In a talk presented by Shareable and the IFTF, Bauwens argued that the Fordist model of managing society has reached its end and that the P2P model represents a much more productive and egalitarian system of production. Some takeaways from his talk:

  • We are living through the third revolution in human productivity.
    1st revolution: coercion, slavery, etc — motivation extrinsic and negative.
    2nd revolution: capitalism — motivation based on self-interest.
    3rd revolution: invention of a system that allows us to self-aggregate our labor, built upon a task-based distribution of labor and aggregated contributions. In this system, the motivations are intrinsic and positive.
  • We have reached “peak hierarchy”.
    • Complex societies simplify hierarchy, and hierarchy trumps equality.
    • The P2P model, exemplified by projects such as Linux and Wikipedia, upends this hierarchical system using distributed networks.
  • Peer production is a hyper-productive, incipient mode of production.
  • "When the old system starts crumbling, you have to move from the bottom up.”
  • We can’t get too concerned about corporate entities co-opting and reducing the effectiveness of the P2P movement. Just because Facebook and Google invest in these things, doesn’t mean that they can’t still turn the system inside out.

  • Asymmetric Competition
    • In a competition between a for-profit entity with closed proprietary strategies, and a for-benefit institution working with a community and a commons, the latter will tend to win out.
    • In a competition between for-profit companies, those using open/free, participatory, and commons oriented strategies will tend to win out.
    • Capitalism is peer production, and currently, peer production is capitalism.
  • Bauwen proposes that to move to an autonymous mode of production, it must be self-sustainable.
    •  We must create global peer-based economies.
    • We have more people in the world working for co-ops than international corporations.
    • “Today, society says value is created in the market. Imagine a society where you extend a civil society where peer production is the basis of the market.
    • Peer-to-peer production will form the core of the new capitalist system.
    • Within the existing system, we have to create a counter-system. The current one is not going to last.
  • On Occupy Wall Street: all previous social movements were based on old paradigms. Occupy Wall Street is truly new, the native expression of those who have internalized the values of the Internet.
  • Co-optation by large corporations is less of a danger now than it was in the ’60s. There are now less reasons to be co-opted, because there are no jobs to co-opt with.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

Sign up for regular Resilience bulletins direct to your email.

Take action!  

Make connections via our GROUPS page.
Start your own projects. See our RESOURCES page.
Help build resilience. DONATE NOW.


Breaching the monetary Matrix: Five exercises to help you understand money

Like everyone else you were born into bondage, born into a prison that you …

Return on Investment

We all make decisions on what to spend our money - or other resources like …

The Rising Global Movement that calls for #noTTIP

TTIP is the latest bid to capture policymaking by the profit-making …

Did the Other Shoe Just Drop? Big Banks Hit with Monster $250 Billion Lawsuit in Housing Crisis

For years, homeowners have been battling Wall Street in an attempt to …

Working for a Shareable Future

This interview with Mira Luna of Shareable offers important lessons from …

What Does a Post-Growth Economy Look Like?

No respectable person in American politics dares to question the virtue of …

Italy: Adapting to Collapse

Tourism is also quickly gaining a new status of fundamental resource in the …