[P2P-F] [NetworkedLabour] questions re funding of p2p value conference

Orsan orsan1234 at gmail.com
Mon Jul 4 17:15:24 CEST 2016

I will try to give a considered respond to your answer, which I am guessing is the public reply James mentioned.  

> I think the realities of organizing events is underestimated. They are two choices, one is the grassroots barcamp type events, in which everyone is welcome, and everyone has to fund his own trip; these events are great, and important, but have advantages as well as disadvantages One disadvantage is that it excludes those who can't self-fund their trips. 

I assume it is more than me underestimate the realities of organizing event then organizers undervalue the practices of peer to peer and commoners. In response to Boiler's book title 'Think like a commoner', it could be more then possible to 'Act like a commoner'. So it is more of a choices, philosophy and politics, more then 'realities' or 'practices' of, those who like to 'think' and 'research' about the real practices; coincidentally this makes you star, solve income problems, and moreover allow one to deliver politics, and gain influence and power. I think this is not only underestimated, but totally absence in your response Michel. Of course there is not only two options, there are plenty of alternatives. Other wise realities of 'organizing' or 'organization', could be only 'the state' / 'corporation' or 'anarchy and there would be no commons, commonning, peer to peer alternatives. Are they exist or not? Are they reliable or not? Are they believable or not.. Or only theorizing or researching about them is important? I know you really believe in p2p and commons, but it is hardly possible to see any prefigurative action and practice Michel. This is a public and open critique, meaning very sincere and friendly way, you need to really think about it.           

> The other choice is to go for paid conferences. This involves other disadvantages, such as the rules imposed by funders (very stringent demands for transparency for example with EU funding). But it has some advantages ...  one is the choice of speakers, which can be more focused on past expertise; the other is that speakers' trip can be paid, as well as small, or sometimes bigger stipends; the paid entries can help fund those without the means of self-funding.

Actually, and to be honest, I really wonder if you really ever organized something what you call barcamp type, self-organized, do it yourself, peer to peer event. Since I never saw any disadvantage then not being able to have star speakers, who would occupy all the space; and the rest of the participants who pay for the cost of starts, would only listen and leave the space with lots of frustration. May be only one disadvantage is not being able to make a show and attract media attention. The rest is negligible in my opinion.  

> So, in the case of the Synergia conference, this is an entirely unfunded conference. The price was set taken into account the travel costs and very small per diems for the teachers/speakers; and full lodging of participants. In this context, the fee amounts to 900 EURO per week, full pension, which is, in the context of the prices of Tuscany, actually very cheap, though of course, will also exclude those with financial difficulties. For this, you get access to a quite extraordinary roster of teachers/speakers and intense dialogue with other participants. For people with jobs in the cooperative economy, for which this conference is intended, the cost is not un-realistic. For those without income, the price is prohibitive, but bursaries are available. According to John Restakis, the program requires 15 paid students to achieve break-even; after that, bursaries can be funded.

Yes, Synergia conference... You say this 900 per week, several thousands euro per all course is, or should be okay for cooperative workers, worker owned cooperatives.. while you can not effort only your trip to self-organized, barcamp events.  

> I for example, would not be able to attend neither Tuscany nor the P2P Value events on my own, in either format, but I can attend both because my travel and basic costs are provided for. This is not a gift, but a small reciprocal payment for my contribution to the event. In contrast, the self-organized barcamp absolutely preclude me from making a living from my contributions.

Would if you can not effort, how do you think workers, cooperative owners, peer producers could so. 

> The second issue is that of 'democracy'. The P2P Value event has been organized and decided by all those involved in the research project, i.e. a consortium of 8 organizations, and James was responsible for organizing the event as part of the contract; in the Synergie case, this is also a collaborative effort of many dozen people, involved in the Synergia consortium, a voluntary association of cooperativists the world over.

Second issue is not only democracy, transparency, nor participation. Not about politics, but it is about generation of culture. It is prefigurative act. In case of its lack, or while main evangelists or preachers of communism, would not see any problem in ruling people's soviets from the winter palace of the old-rulers, then that revolution is over before it started. P2P Revolution is going down before it starts, not because it is un-democratic, or as you argue against democracy that is it is meritocratic. I think including you, Silke, David, as well as all other commoners, and theory leaders do lack practical aspect that generates no culture at the 'strategist' level. 

About Restakis.. My remark was a reference to his email, accidentally sent to the list, in his response to you, Jason Nardi, Pat Conaty and some others about the four wheels of the 'radical change car'.. He was making a joke of 'you' as the strategists of commons transition, open cooperativism, peer - license, what ever.. Being on the 'driver seat'. Then there was a cold silence, no one replied or asked or commented on his joke. But history registered. I can find and redistribute that exchange if you like.   

> They take their decisions in good faith, given the funding and other realities they contend with. Yes, it means not everyone can attend, but within the parameters they work with, they strive for the maximum inclusion of motivated participants, and find individual solutions when possible.

Division is not between 'not every body' and 'everybody'. But 'organizers' and 'organized'; 'agenda setters' and those agendas are set, strategists and strategised; so sort of masters and puppets.

> Now the alternative of barcamps of the massively self-organized WSF ... well, I can't afford to go those either, they exclude all those that are not able to self-fund. So no system is perfect,

Come on Michel, some one like you can easily receive support to go there, of any kind.  

> and both are easy to critique from the outside, by people who are unwilling to dive into the real difficulties and constraints of organizing these events,As far as I can recall, Orsan, you organized exclusive events with TNI, and you did that very well. Far from critiquing you for these exclusionary events, I would commend you for it, for bringing important players together, and for funding our trips and participation. I feel the same about John Restakis and James Burke, and given their efforts and responsibilities, I can find sympathy for their irritation when they are critiqued by outsiders who are not contributing to the organization of these events, and unaware of the constraints they are operating with.

My critique of TNI, and end of my relationships with it is declared by me on several occasions. Now same critique, of NGO world in general, is covering to commons NGOs, which present same mistakes, same fault lines, and these are not a complain of some one humpy dumpy, it is documented and agreed wide spread critique. Of course people, individually doing their best, to survive and combine income and passion and idealism would get irritated. But what irritate us, ordinary people, is them finding this not enough and when that also like to tell us what to do, what to say, what to chose, what to like and dislike.. So when they feel power of ideas, and wish to define the course, on the driving seat of the 'radical'  change car. 

Well, without managing to combine applying self-labour, mental and manually, apologies but this is not going to happen. Because, now, irritation of being rule, is so high, and those who are wanted to be managed posses high skills, like political analysis. 

In solidarity, 

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