Brian Holmes on Mon, 1 Oct 2012 22:16:19 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> P2P Foundation: A Synthetic Overview of the Collaborative Economy (new book)

On 10/01/2012 02:55 AM, Felix Stalder wrote:

For me, the political test for all these things is whether they are
set as alternatives to commodity markets and private ownership, or
as alternatives to public infrastructures. In the first case, one
might get something interesting, in the second it's compassionate

I don't wanna nitpick, but the question is whether the share-tech rollout of the electronics corporations is USED as an alternative to the commodity markets and private ownership. All rhetoric aside, and Michel Bauwen's work notwithstanding, I would really be amazed if any corporation today is doing anything but grabbing for the ever-expanding markets of what were once public infrastructures and services (they're now disappearing as fast as manufacturing jobs here in the US). The strange thing about our moment, which both Michel and Keith Hart point to in their particular ways, is that we have at once massive and even savage commodification of the formerly public sphere (that's maybe what's meant when people talk about "the former West") and at the same time, the commodities being exchanged reveal as perhaps never before their other face, which is their use value, as both constructive and expressive tools.

All I can say is we better use 'em. The current crisis is mopping up the remains of the postwar welfare-state institutions. To the exact extent that new forms of social cooperation do NOT emerge, there will be increasing social violence as predatory capitalism is taken to its logical conclusions on the ground.

To the extent that they DO emerge, we have the chance to create something fabulous and new, the very figure of generosity, solidarity and beauty in the social realm. It's what Virno called "the non-state public sphere."

Yes, you live in interesting times, my friends.


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