Ãrsan Åenalp on Thu, 15 Jan 2015 02:47:45 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> FairCoop as creative-construction of Commons Humanity as an antitode

   By Pablo Prieto and Enric Duran

   Some revolutionary activists have an amazing ability to avoid the
   economy. We have been iron-branded with the idea that the economy is
   not only evil, but the cause of all evil; that we should stay away from
   it and feel guilty about being involved with it. Like don Quixote, we
   are sane and pure-hearted, but we refuse to see this one truth: we need
   a new economy.

   A new economy begins with a new kind of money. If youâve managed to
   live in something close to a gift economy: congratulations, youâve made
   it! This only works for some of us, though, living in relatively small
   communities, and not on a global scale. You have to realize that youâre
   not really changing your neighborsâ world by trading Ubuntu installs
   for massage; youâre not overthrowing the hyperarchist system of human
   domination by paying for your tofu in rainbowcoins, now, are you?

   While complementary currencies do a great job at local level, theyâre
   just that: they complement other parts which together make up a whole.
   And what we really need is to build up a whole new way to live in this

   Here we go! So, we need money, we need decentralized international
   markets, financial tools, solid trade networks⦠a financial system,
   after all. Money, or food for that matter, arenât harmful: bulimia or
   capitalism are. Money can and should be used for the common good â and
   by money we donât mean fiat currencies, of course. Fiat currencies are
   created and controlled by an evil structure, and used for tyranny and
   planetary destruction (also, we donât see a way we are ever getting any
   of that pie).

   We need to create our own monetary system â a better one, one that will
   suddenly make theirs obsolete and their banks worthless, just like the
   electric car would do with the gas distribution network. And we need
   the transition to be fast enough so they donât have time to react and
   use it for their benefit. What youâve just read is the definition of
   the term disruptive technology.

   In 2008, when Satoshi Nakamoto created Bitcoin, he came up with two
   disruptive technologies at once: the blockchain, a public, universal,
   unalterable digital ledger, and the proof-of-work (POW), a new network
   p2p security system. Together, thanks to the power of cryptography and
   the Internet, they allow us to decentralize, and hence democratize
   three things:

   Economy. The blockchain allows us to securely store and move our own
   money with no need for intermediaries. This automatically renders the
   current financial system useless, and is only the beginning of a new
   way to organize the whole economy.

   Politics. If we use banks and pay our taxes, the government will do
   whatever they please with our money, or maybe what the banks please. If
   we instead use our money to support the projects we would like to see
   happen, they will eventually happen. What matters here is that with the
   blockchain we have the real freedom to choose between supporting
   central governments or supporting a new, distributed way to organize
   our lives.

   Culture. Decentralizing technologies empower the p2p network
   society as a new way of thinking and doing thatâs quickly replacing
   many old-regime institutions and central authorities.

   Anyway, individualistic approaches to this new technology â like
   bitcoin â are very interesting experiences, but frightening. We can
   even picture a gloomy future ruled by cold algorithms and controlled by
   relentless DACs (decentralized autonomous corporations). We probably
   wouldnât like that much. Maybe the solution to state hierarchy is not
   completely math-based individualism. Maybe a middle path (as David
   Harvey would put it) is needed, where the potential of decentralization
   and the capacities of cooperations could join together.

   A disruptive technology is not revolutionary in itself, unless it comes
   wrapped in a new system of governance, and also in a new ethical
   paradigm, one thatâs broadly and honestly accepted, never imposed.
   Revolution is not only a political change, but a cultural and
   individual mindshift. The perfect political system wonât work unless we
   first learn how to love each other. Any revolution prior to that will
   lead to disintegration of power only long enough for the next populist
   leader to figure out how to get hold of it.

   And well, we also need to go further than a new financial systemâ¦

   Productive businesses are usually forced to make a big profit to pay
   back their debts to financial institutions. The so-called real
   productive system needs to be freed from the parasite, and when that
   happens we will clearly see how the financial system has absolutely
   nothing to offer to society, how it was all a gigantic scam, and how
   most of it is simply disposable.

   We (including you) have a lot of work to do in building a peer
   production / commons-based framework of initiatives, and this framework
   cannot depend on credit coming from the old banking system. A new
   system must be built at the same time.

   These thoughts inspired the creation of FairCoop. One of us, Enric
   Duran (co-founder of the first integral cooperative) chose a
   cryptocurrency, Faircoin, anonymously encouraged a community take-over
   of said cryptocurrency, and bought a significant amount of all existing
   coins at a low price, unnoticed. Enric then brought together people
   from the CIC, the P2P Foundation, the Dark Wallet team, and other
   activists, to co-design an initial vision of how FairCoop could help
   build a worldwide cooperative: An Open Coop totally independent from
   banks or states, where everyone could have control of their own
   projects and money, yet overseen by a collective structure acting as a
   trust network. Success is about trust, even in post-capitalism.

   This collective structure design is subject to very general, but
   nonetheless clear ethical principles taken from hacker ethics, the
   integral revolution, and the p2p model of social organization. Money
   dynamics are neither controlled by a central authority nor completely
   unregulated, but managed collectively in a less archist and more
   participatory way. The decision-making method is fairer than the
   representative system but more agile than some of those huge, endless
   assemblies we used to enjoy.

   FairFunds are important among FairCoopâs currently available tools.
   They will provide funding to projects that fall into the
   above-mentioned principles, and that can add to the common good. More
   than ten million Faircoins â about 20% of total supply â is already
   deposited in the FairFunds, and will be used to fund projects related
   to wealth redistribution to local communities worldwide, people
   empowerment, and the creation of commons and free technology.

   FairMarket, our worldwide collaborative fair economy marketplace, is
   another space where we can change the way consumers and producers
   organize to exchange interesting goods and services, in a way that
   avoids middlemen and also helps the planet. This aspect of our project
   is currently in development for an upcoming beta launch.

   Returning to the cryptocurrency, Faircoin has certain features which
   make it fit the FairCoop purposes. Basically, the process of extraction
   is different than that of Bitcoin (POW). Itâs called minting (POS,
   proof-of-stake). But yeah, it was mostly about the name. Which currency
   you choose doesnât actually matter that much. The most important
   features of this new system are not imprinted as algorithms in the
   code; instead they will come from the human input and democratic
   participation of all members.

   With the creation skills available in our p2p commons networks, weâre
   sure that the Faircoin of the future will join the decentralized
   technology of the blockchain and the human-centered values of

   At any rate, besides the tools we have working or designed already,
   what matters most in FairCoop is the open process. In a world changing
   as rapidly as ours, where disruptive technologies are aggregating and
   creating an unprecedented multiplier effect, the way we can become as
   successful as possible is by also aggregating simultaneously, coming up
   with new and better ideas day by day, building our knowledge and
   experiences in our own FairCoop ecosystem.

   We do not destroy the system by attacking it with our wooden spears. We
   are creating a valid alternative, and have started developing it.
   FairCoop aims to provide new, free, collaborative economic, social and
   technological tools for everyone, and will try to make sure they are
   used in a cooperative way for the creation and expansion of the commons
   worldwide. An Earth cooperative to build the fair world of the future.

   We can all help to make this happen. You can learn about the different
   ways to get involved here.

   Pablo Prieto is a scientist working on the science of a post-capitalist
   world. He is a member of FairCoop.

   Enric Duran is a post-capitalist activist and co-founder of the Catalan
   Integral Cooperative and FairCoop. He is widely known as the âRobin
   Hood of the Banksâ for his legendary anti-capitalist bank swindles.


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