We just finished reading If I Only Had a Heart: Value Sovereignty, Care Work, Commons and Distributed Cooperative Organizations, a brilliant synthesis of the ideas of the Commons and P2P, open cooperativism, open value accounting and feminist economics. Written by Stacco Troncoso and his colleagues from the Guerilla Translation team, this is a must-read for those interested in the theory and practice of commons-based peer production.
The Research Group for the Digital Economy and Private Law (at the Faculty of Law at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki) is hosting a very interesting seminar cycle that begins tomorrow at 19:00 (Room 8, 3rd Floor) with a presentation from Alex Pazaitis (of the P2P Lab) themed “Demystifying the Digital Economy“.
The seminar cycle includes three more talks:
- Fri 8 Nov: Alex Pazaitis – The Commons and peer production: A short introduction
- Fri 15 Nov: Alex Pazaitis – The political economy of peer production: Two general approaches
- Fri 22 Nov: Angelos Kornilakis – Legal mapping of small-scale economic networks of peer production
Readers of our website are familiar with the work of Adam Arvidsson, which explores the relationship between Capitalism and Commons-based peer production. In his new book titled Changemakers: The Industrious Future of the Digital Economy, which has just been published by Polity, Arvidsson “argues that, as industrial capitalism enters a period of prolonged crisis, a new paradigm of ‘industrious modernity’ is emerging. Based on small-scale, commons-based and market-oriented entrepreneurship, this industrious modernity is being pioneered by the many outcasts that no longer find a place within a crumbling industrial modernity”.
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.
Journal of Peer Production
Call for Papers: Infrastructuring the Commons Today, when STS meet ICT
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.