A must-read for those interested in delving more deeply into the relationship between Capitalism and Commons-based peer production is Adam Arvidsson’s new paper, titled ‘Capitalism and the Commons‘, which has just been published in Theory, Culture & Society. The crux of its argument is nicely summed up in the concluding remarks:
The medieval commons emerged out of the process of social acceleration put in motion by feudalism. In turn, they supported new relations of production that pointed beyond feudalism. Capitalism developed through the privatization and enclosure of the medieval commons. At the same time, the process of social acceleration put in motion by capitalist real subsumption has generated new commons in the form of a planetary ‘general intellect’. Today we begin to see how these new commons are supporting new forms of petty production. It is possible that such commons-based petty production will affirm itself as an alternative to a capitalist economy in decline, first for the masses, and later also for the elites. This process is likely to be accelerated by a combination of economic decline and ecological crisis, similar to that of the 14th century.
The next Research Methodology Issues in the Social Sciences conference organized by the University of Crete’s Faculty of Sociology will be held in Rethymnon on 8-10 November 2019. Of particular interest to readers of this blog, one of the main themes of the conference is ‘commons policies: social and solidarity economy and communities of emancipation’. For more info (in greek), here’s the call.
One of the most useful online resources (in greek) we’ve recently come across is the abc of the commons. The website, which is largely based on the new book of our partner Vasilis Kostakis, Michel Bauwens and Alex Pazaitis, Peer to Peer: The Commons Manifesto, focuses on the concept of the commons and commons-based peer production, explaining why they are relevant to a post-capitalist transition.
Here’s the audio files from a presentation and a discussion about the commons and counter-hegemonic strategies with Alexandros Kioupkiolis, activists, researchers and academics at L’Asilo Filangieri in Naples on 31/3/2010:
Heteropolitics researcher Alexandros Kioupkiolis and our partner (from the P2P Lab) Vasilis Kostakis will be giving a talk at a workshop on the “Social & Solidarity Economy and the Commons: common places and divergences, limits and potential” organized by the Transdisciplinary Institute for Environmental and Social Studies (TIESS) and Heinrich Böll Foundation, which will be held at TIESS in Thessaloniki on April 20, 2019. The workshop will try to create a fertile dialogue between academics, researchers, members of SSE projects, social movements and Civil Society.
The latest issue of the Journal of Peer Production (JoPP) has just been published online. It features contributions and reflections from several open access journal editors, peer-reviewed articles on co-sewing cafes and civic-tech as well as concrete proposals to develop the commons in employment, ‘good data’ and open communities.
Newcastle University and Open Lab are looking for a Research Assistant/Associate in the context of a H2020 project on Generative European Commons Living Lab, focusing on community technologies, digital and urban commons, social innovation, and issues of social justice in technology design and implementation.
The second international conference “Social Solidarity Economy and the Commons” will be a meeting point for researchers, activists, public officials and social entrepreneurs involved in social and solidarity economy, governance of the commons and new social movements in different parts of the world.
Peer production and collaborative forms of technological design – such as those based on commons-oriented approaches – have at their core a critical stance towards the technoscientific landscape, an approach shared with Science and Technology Studies (STS) as a theoretical archipelago that has produced a significant wealth of knowledge that points out the social constructive and performative character of technoscience.
From October 2017 to June 2018, in the framework of the Heteropolitics ERC COG (2017-2020) Research Project, we conducted ethnographic research in Elassona, where over the past nine years eleven villages have built, run and maintain a Wireless Community Network (WCN), sarantaporo.gr. The aim of our research is to contribute to the debate on Commons through feedback from the field where such ventures take place. More specifically, the aim of Heteropolitics is to highlight alternative, self-organised communities of Commons. In the case-study of sarantaporo.gr, we have focused on the community created around a Digital Commons and the perceptions emerging from participation in the WCN concerning the infrastructure, which is provided by all participants to all the inhabitants of the villages that belong on the network, either they are participants or not. The following narratives (in Greek) from interviews we held answer questions such as:
How do the Commons emerge as everyday politics?
How do the Commons differ from bureaucratic state policies?
How do the subjectivities of participants emerge and get transformed in the contexts of such endeavours?
How do participants understand their role in the endeavour and in the wider society they belong to?