[P2P-F] [NetworkedLabour] A note on the post-capitalist strategy of the P2P Foundation

Michel Bauwens michel at p2pfoundation.net
Fri Jun 17 03:23:20 CEST 2016

I am not avoiding the question Jakob,

I'm pointing out that your plan is to win power first and then take over
these means of production,

I'm saying, we start immediately, by capturing capital, machines, knowledge
etc .. right now, in our open coops, there are many mechanisms to recapture
land, machinic capital is dropping dramatically in cost, and we can do
global coordination better than capital now

you are waiting for the big evening (le grand soir we say in french), I'm
just proposing to do it right away, and to drain value from the capitalist
system from both sides (withdrawing both commodity labor and consumption)
so that it can no longer continue its cycle of accumulation; AT THE SAME
TIME, we build social power and organizations that challenge political and
social power, and whether that is following by a quickening phase
transition, is an open question ... If you look at history you will see
that the domination of capital took several centuries of prefigurative
growth, that its 'revolutions' took many different forms, and that it took
again many decades to build its institutions once it became the dominant

I propose to emulate these winning strategies, adopted to the needs and
realities of the commoners, instead of hoping the new transition will not
follow what worked in the previous transitions,


On Thu, Jun 16, 2016 at 6:03 PM, Jakob Rigi <RigiJ at ceu.edu> wrote:

> Michel,
> You simply avoid to answer my questions. Capitalism emerged by
> dispossessing immediate producers from their means of productions and
> transforming these producers into waged labourers. Capitalism reproduces
> itself by paying wages that are enough for the reproduction of labour
> power. Thus the worker remain dispossessed. Land and nature as the main
> source of life are private property of capitalists. No one will ever be
> able to build a new collective mode of production without collectivising
> first land and other means of production and this requires expropriating
> capitalists: a social revolution. You avoid to answer the questions by the
> rhetoric that the Marxist strategy has failed. If by the Marxist strategy
> you mean the Soviet case,  it had some achievements but failed. But, that
> failure  does not imply that the historical project of expropriating
> capitalist has failed. The industrial capitalism first emerged in Italian
> city states but was aborted there. Later, in more mature condition it took
> not only root in Britain but become globalised. Generalising the soviet
> experiment in rhetorical way as you do into a law is very mechanistic and
> deterministic. The failure of the Soviet experiment is by no means prove
> that a new effort in our time for expropriating the expropriators will also
> fail.   We need to judged the success and failure of the Soviet case in its
> historical conditions.
> Jakob
> ------------------------------
> *From:* michelsub2004 at gmail.com <michelsub2004 at gmail.com> on behalf of
> Michel Bauwens <michel at p2pfoundation.net>
> *Sent:* 15 June 2016 17:25
> *To:* Jakob Rigi
> *Cc:* Orsan Senalp; Commoning; networkedlabour at lists.contrast.org;
> p2p-foundation
> *Subject:* Re: [NetworkedLabour] A note on the post-capitalist strategy
> of the P2P Foundation
> Jakob,
> capitalism can only reproduce itself through commodity labor and workers
> as consumers, this gives us powerful leverage.
> if we don't have the power, nor a social consensus to 'expropriate', the
> building of counter-hegemonic power is essential to get there ... merely
> mobilizing counter-power within the capitalist system, i.e. dependent
> labor, has not worked for 200 years, and I see few signs that it can. The
> diverse forms of property that exist, and protected by the state, can be
> used by commoners to mutualize capital and means of production. Obviously,
> powerful social movements can set rules to limit monopolistic control of
> resources, but then you still have to deal with the impotence of nations to
> do this, and they most likely will smash you, as they are doing with greece
> and venezuela and elsewhere. This brings to the fore the other aspect of
> our strategy, which is to built counter-hegemonic power at the global
> level. Just screaming "I hate capitalism and I will smash you" is not going
> to do it.
> The strategy we describe worked for capital and for all the previous
> transitions (read Karatini), while the marxist strategy of taking power and
> change everything once we have that power, has been a dismal failure. So I
> think that continuing in that vein after 200 years of failure, that is the
> wishful thinking. It hasn't worked for previous transitions, and isn't
> working for this transition, so what is your evidence ? Our strategy is
> based on the necessary prefigurative construction of counter-power, which
> is how past transitions were successful
> Michel
> On Wed, Jun 15, 2016 at 8:56 PM, Jakob Rigi <RigiJ at ceu.edu> wrote:
>> Mitchel
>> The idea that commoners and cooperative worker can challenge capitalism
>> by working for themselves and make the state their partner is a wishful
>> fantasy- is not  realisable.
>> Capitalism is in the first place  the private ownership in means of
>> production. And the state is in the first place the power and
>> institutions  that protect the private property in means of production.
>> No cooperative production can become the dominant mode of production
>> unless land and other  strategic means of productions have been transformed
>> into commons.
>> Do you agree with this statement? If not what are your counter argument?
>> If yes, then how land other strategic means of production can be
>> transformed into commons?
>> I argue that this require expropriating capitalists. If you disagree,
>> what are your counter arguments?
>> If you agree, then,  making the production of commons the dominant mode
>> of production requires confronting the sate not becoming its partner.
>> Capitalist did not needed  always to expropriate the feudal landowners
>> since the latter started to lease their land to capitalists. But,
>> capitalists expropriated small owners the means of production-the so called
>> primitive accumulation. The emerging Feudal class did not expropriate  the
>> slave owners since salve owners themselves became feudals. But, capitalist
>> having expropriated the majority of the population and thereby have
>> monopolised the strategic means of production. Transferring these means of
>> production to the majority, meaning making them universal commons of
>> humanity requires expropriating capitalists. But, state would not allow us
>> to do that. It will tell you that capitalist ownership is guaranteed by the
>> law. And the law is the holiest of the holy. We-the state- will not permit
>> anyone to break the law even if it will be necessary to shed blood.  Our
>> monopoly right our violence is here to protect capitalist property in means
>> of production .
>> So the commoners mus confront such a state and smash at least its
>> coercive and violent institutions and expropriate the expropriators for the
>> benefit of the humanity as whole and transform their property int universal
>> commons.
>> Jakob
>> Jakob
>> ------------------------------
>> *From:* NetworkedLabour <networkedlabour-bounces at lists.contrast.org> on
>> behalf of Orsan Senalp <orsan1234 at gmail.com>
>> *Sent:* 15 June 2016 10:47
>> *To:* Jakob Rigi; Michel Bauwens
>> *Cc:* Commoning; networkedlabour at lists.contrast.org; p2p-foundation
>> *Subject:* Re: [NetworkedLabour] A note on the post-capitalist strategy
>> of the P2P Foundation
>> There are many overlapping aspect between Cox, and Van Der Pijl's
>> 'transnational historical materialist' analysis and what you have put
>> together Michel.So I share the vision, I only would add a direct-action,
>> political confrontation axe which needs to be built based on what can be
>> imagined as 'peer to peer social network unionism'. As supportive element
>> in terms of organizing power, and broader alliance building, hence
>> collectivization of working alternatives and to defend them against ruling
>> class violence and use of force. Not to precede what you suggest or to
>> replace it but simultaneously empower the counter hegemonic transnational
>> trinity (of as in Cox Institutons-material capabilities-ideas /
>> capital-state-nation).
>> Orsan
>> On 15 Jun 2016, at 03:56, Michel Bauwens <michel at p2pfoundation.net>
>> wrote:
>> some of you may be interested in this short note:
>> Post-Capitalist Strategy of the P2P Foundation
>> <http://wiki.p2pfoundation.net/Post-Capitalist_Strategy_of_the_P2P_Foundation#mw-head>
>> <http://wiki.p2pfoundation.net/Post-Capitalist_Strategy_of_the_P2P_Foundation#p-search>
>> Discussion[edit
>> <http://wiki.p2pfoundation.net/index.php?title=Post-Capitalist_Strategy_of_the_P2P_Foundation&action=edit&section=1>
>> ]
>> Michel Bauwens:
>> "A note on the post-capitalist strategy of the P2P Foundation
>> Following Kojin Karatini, we agree that the present system is based on a
>> trinity of capital-state-nation, which represents an integration of three
>> modes of exchange. Capital represents a particular market form based on the
>> endless accumulation of capital, the state is the entity that keeps the
>> system together through coercion, law and redistribution (Karatini calls
>> this function ‘rule and protect’), and the nation is the ‘imagined
>> community’ that is the locus of the survival of community and reciprocity.
>> A post-capitalist strategy must necessarily overcome all three in a new
>> integration.
>> Overcoming the capitalist form of the market, means interfering in
>> capital accumulation. This can and must be done in two ways. First of all,
>> the capitalist market requires labor as a commodity, and therefore,
>> overcoming capitalism means refusing to work for capitalism as commodity
>> labor. Hence the stress on open cooperativism, i.e. commoners work for
>> themselves, in democratic associations and create autonomous livelihoods
>> around our commons, protected from value capture through membranes such as
>> reciprocity-based licenses. Measures like the basic income also
>> substantially remove the compulsion for workers to have to sell their labor
>> power, and would strengthen the capacity to create alternative economic
>> entities. However, we must proceed with the reality that exists today, and
>> create our own funding and resource allocation mechanisms. The second way
>> is to withdraw from capitalism and capital accumulation is by removing our
>> cooperation as consumers. Without workers as producers and workers as
>> consumers, there can be no reproduction of capital. The latter means the
>> invention and creation of new forms of consumption that are derived from
>> the creation of open cooperatives. Workers mutualize their consumption in
>> pooled market forms such as community-supported agriculture and the like.
>> To the degree that we systematically organize new provisioning and
>> consumption systems, outside of the sphere of capital, we undermine the
>> reproduction of capital and capital accumulation. In addition, we create
>> ‘transvestment’ vehicles, which allow the acceptance of capital, as
>> disciplined by the new commons and market forms that we develop through
>> peer production, this creates a flow of value from the system of capital to
>> the system of the commons economy. Faced with a crisis of capital
>> accumulation, it is entirely realistic to expect a stream of value which
>> seeks a place in the commons economy. Instead of the cooptation of the
>> commons economy by capital, in the form of the netarchical capitalist
>> platforms which capture value from the commons, we coopt capital inside the
>> commons, and subject it to its rules.
>> I believe we can achieve similar effects with the state. Our strategy for
>> a ‘partner state’ is to ‘commonify’ the state. We strive to transform state
>> functions so that they actually empower and enable the autonomy of the
>> citizens as individuals and groups, to create common resources, instead of
>> being ‘consumers’ of state services. We abolish the separation of the state
>> from the population by increasing democratic and participatory
>> decision-making. We consider the public service as a commons, giving every
>> citizen and resident the right to work in the commonified public services.
>> But we don’t ‘withdraw’ completely from the state because we need common
>> good institutions for everyone in a given territory, which creates equal
>> capacities for every citizen to contribute to the commons and the ethical
>> market organizations.
>> In another article we have argued that the capital-state-nation trinity
>> is no longer able to balance global capitalism, because it has created a
>> very powerful transnational financial class, which is able to move
>> resources globally and discipline the state and the nations that dare
>> rebalance it. Our answer is to create trans-local and trans-national civic
>> and economic entities that can eventually rebalance and counter the power
>> of the transnational capitalist class. This is realistic because peer
>> production technologies create global open design communities that
>> mutualize knowledge on a global scale, and because we can create global and
>> ethical market organizations around them. Even as we produce locally, we
>> organize trans-local productive communities. These trans-local productive
>> communities are no longer bound by the nation-state and project and require
>> forms of governance that can operate on the global scale. In this way, they
>> also transcend the power of the nation-state. As we explained in our
>> strategy regarding the global capitalist market, these forces can operate
>> against the accumulation of capital at the global level, and create global
>> counter-hegemonic power. In all likelihood, this will create global
>> governance mechanisms and institutions that are no longer inter-national,
>> but trans-national, but are not transnational capitalism.
>> In conclusion, our aim is to replace the capital-state-nation trinity,
>> which is no longer functioning, and to avoid global domination of private
>> capital, by creating a new integrative trinity, Commons-Ethical Market-
>> Partner State, that is not confined to the nation-state level, but can
>> operate trans-nationally and transcend the older and dysfunctional trinity.
>> Through these processes, citizens develop cosmopolitan subjectivities but
>> also allegiance to local and trans-national commons-oriented communities of
>> value creation and value distribution."
>> --
>> Check out the Commons Transition Plan here at:
>> http://commonstransition.org
>> P2P Foundation: http://p2pfoundation.net  - http://blog.p2pfoundation.net
>> <http://lists.ourproject.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/p2p-foundation>Updates:
>> http://twitter.com/mbauwens; http://www.facebook.com/mbauwens
>> #82 on the (En)Rich list: http://enrichlist.org/the-complete-list/
>> _______________________________________________
>> NetworkedLabour mailing list
>> NetworkedLabour at lists.contrast.org
>> http://lists.contrast.org/mailman/listinfo/networkedlabour
> --
> Check out the Commons Transition Plan here at:
> http://commonstransition.org
> P2P Foundation: http://p2pfoundation.net  - http://blog.p2pfoundation.net
> <http://lists.ourproject.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/p2p-foundation>Updates:
> http://twitter.com/mbauwens; http://www.facebook.com/mbauwens
> #82 on the (En)Rich list: http://enrichlist.org/the-complete-list/

Check out the Commons Transition Plan here at: http://commonstransition.org

P2P Foundation: http://p2pfoundation.net  - http://blog.p2pfoundation.net

http://twitter.com/mbauwens; http://www.facebook.com/mbauwens

#82 on the (En)Rich list: http://enrichlist.org/the-complete-list/
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