Dmytri Kleiner on Tue, 4 Sep 2012 11:39:44 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> crowd-funding on nettime

On 31.08.2012 12:28, Felix Stalder wrote:

There are some definitely positive potentials to it. For example,
it point towards a cultural economy that does not depend on the
standard copyright model where investments in the first copy are
regained through controlling subsequent copies.

But in practice, as far as I can see, there are relatively few
projects on kickstarter that actually release their products under a
free license once they have been financed in advance.

I have no opinion as far as the moderation policy of crowd-funding
requests on the list. But certainly feel the topic of crowd-funding
itself is quite important for us to discus here, both for it's
positive potentials, but also to clarify it's limitations.

The fact that projects funded by Kickstarter are not released under a
free license, and the organisations behind them rarely take social/
co-operative forms, is part of the reasons that the model is limited
as far as it's overall economic impact. Crowd-funding does not
replicate itself.

We're all familiar with the M C M' type circuits (including
finacialized ones) wherein, capitalists invest money and end up with
more money by doing so. This is what allows the capitalist mode to
expand. In kickstarter style CF, funders do not, neither individualy
nor collectively, end up with more money to invest. This means that
CF does not have it's own reproductive curcuit, leaving it as nothing
more than a form of consumer expenditure drawing only upon disposable
incomes, the majority of wich must therefor come from retained wages
of workers. As such, it can never grow beyond the level of the
retained income workers can sustainably divert from consumption, at
the expense of workers' savings.

This means, that crown-funding can not directly have a significant
effect on the social distribution of wealth unless what it it funds is
itself something that itself directly challanges political or economic

For this reason I strongly agree that projects like are
significantly more interesting.

We can not really crowd fund a cultural economy, we can perhaps crowd
fund capacity by way of the commons to sustain a new society from wich
a new cultural economy can emerge.


Dmytri Kleiner
Venture Communist

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