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Against the crisis: P2P Industrial Revolution!


Update: PDF now translated (May 14)

Creating real change from the current situation, the building of an economic foundation for social cohesion — these are not things we can expect from macroeconomic government policies. That’s not what the peninsular States, and a good part of the European States, are there for any more. Rather, they are debating the rent captures that public debts represent, and the pressure from a few Big Businesses made more powerful (and irresponsible) by the crisis, in a general framework of job destruction.

We should have no illusions that the process will be turned back at the macro level. Today, the levers of Macroeconomics, the economic devices traditionally used as control levers for national economies, are broken or blocked.

It’s time to start up new strategies with new content and media, set in a new scale, the human scale.

What follows is a viable proposal, thought up so you can put it in action in your area in coordination with others. The objective is to generate swarming that drives, from the approach of the P2P mode of production, the development of a new local, sustainable, and powerful industrialization, built from the commons.

What to do?

  1. Create a space. Spread the good news all around: in your town hall and among the local collectives and social organizations of all kinds. Avoid any maximalism or utopian message; the best way to overcome pessimism is restraint in the message. How?
    • Download this presentation document about the application of the P2P production method to local reindustrialization:
    • Print color copies, put them in a simple binder, personally deliver them to city and county innovation officials, cultural facilitators, journalists, bloggers with an impact on the area, cooperative members, small businesspeoples, student associations, people in social movements…
    • Organize public presentations about the real possibility of creating jobs on a small scale, thanks to P2P technologies. If you need it, we can help you find people linked to different projects, and to organize logistics.
  2. Demonstration: Once the topic takes root in the local public agenda, you need to calculate and demonstrate what the real impact could be of both the crisis and the P2P alternative. For example:
    • What’s happening locally with mechanics’ workshops? Are jobs being lost? What would happen if they started producing cars (electric or combustion) in public workshops? How many jobs would be saved, or even created?
    • How would it impact cooperatives and small farms if they saw a 50% reduction in machinery maintenance costs?
    • How many people with different levels of professional training in industrial work are unemployed locally? How many engineers?
  3. Write a proposal:The general model of the P2P production method is very simple. Adapt the basic P2P industrial ecosystem model to your surroundings and its needs.
    • Create local development groups, people who join and study some free [libre] industrial production project or develop a new one. Can you imagine creating a free [libre] electric car with young engineers and unemployed workers? Or developing a local version of commonly used agricultural machinery? Obviously, doing this requires training in new development techniques from new industrial models, study of existing projects, models for energy autonomy, etc. We can help you with that, too, but believe us, by that time, the first phase will have put you in contact with people who are linked to different projects that already exist today, and you won’t lack for resources to get started.
    • Find a space for experimentation and work, a large public workshop. Space is not in short supply today, when thousands of plants and workshops are being abandoned. Obviously, you’ll have to equip it, but the costs are generally low. At that point, we can help you to structure a plan for economic viability.
    • Provide a public service: Someone wants to build their own car or or a brick-making machine? For a small fee, they can have the space, the tools, the plans, monitors to help them do it, and training opportunities to get started. The training and experimentation space can provide not only what local development communities need for their projects (in a way that not only do they not lose qualifications, but actually gain them, while at the same time generating social and “commons” capital), they can also provide income for them as they provide monitoring and give classes.
    • Provide a source of income, incorporation of innovation, and demand for small local businesses. What would happen if a body shop in your town sold a couple of low-cost electric cars a month, even offering to customize them? What if it manufactured small wind generators that reduced an electricity bill that was otherwise going to go up by almost 30%? What if it provided low-cost support for agricultural machinery?
  4. You’re on the move. A year has passed, and the machinery of the the New Industrial Revolution is up and running in your town. For example, a group has developed a low-cost system of free [libre] thermosolar heating… you’re thinking of setting up a small business or cooperative. We can also help you build its viability, and together, we can even think about collaborating with others to give the project greater scope, and so that you yourselves can offer training, maintenance, and consultancy in new places.

Are you up for it?

Obviously, when you look at it this way, it can seem overwhelming. But don’t think the old way. It’s about starting a swarm. There will be no shortage of volunteers along the way, contributions, opportunities, support from hundreds of other places throughout the world… Right now, it’s about getting started. The crisis is approaching many people’s threshold of rebellion, to a point where general passivity is going to disappear. It needs to disappear. You can make the difference between industrial desolation and a new start with a new basis in the commons.

It’s within our reach to lay the foundation of a society in which we would certainly make less money, given that a good portion of industrial knowledge will be free [libre], but which will doubtlessly be richer and more resilient, sustainable, innovative, and egalitarian.

Shall we get to work? Comments are open more than welcome, but if you’ve decided to get started, and you want us to get in contact with you to start coordinating, write us on the campaign’s contact form.

Translated by Steve Herrick of interpreters.coop from the original (in Spanish).

Editorial Notes: Suggested by one of EB's regular commenters, Luane Todd. This is a Spanish-language site but they are translating some of their materials into English, as above. -KS

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