david de ugarte
intro’d to David while reading Kevin Carson‘s desktop regulated state. esp ch 4..
from ch 7:
it’s not important that we can’t answer every question about “who will prevent this or that without a state?” “how will we do the other thing without the state?” we need, as David de Ugarte argues, to think of social problem solving as something that we will do, by responding to the situation and using our judgment as we go along.
and what happens if we don’t have an alternative to every “solution,” at every moment? nothing. it’s like free software, ti doesn’t matter if it’s good or bad, we’ll improve it; it doesn’t matter if there’s support or not, we’ll organize it. freedom is fundamental to what is truly alive and human. its the starting point for all ethical thinking, not a distant objective. it’s not with Tony Soprano – or what’s worse, with his bards, or, worse still, as the case may be, with the initiation chants of the children of his theoreticians and renters – that the starting point lies for thinking in communal and social terms. – David – ethics and the state is like freedom and Tony Soprano.. march 2013
p2p post/interview here:
David de Ugarte: Las Indias is the result of the Spanish-speaking cyberpunk movement. Originally a civil rights group, during the late 90s it became strongly influenced by Juan Urrutia’s “Economics of Abundance” theory. Very soon, we linked “abundance” with the idea of empowerment in distributed networks. We are very clear on this point: it is not the Internet by itself, it is the distributed P2P architecture that allows the new commons. As one of our old slogans put it: “Under every informational architechture lays a structure of power.” Re-centralizing structures – as Google, Twitter, Facebook, Megaupload, etc. do around their servers – weakens us all. The blogosphere, torrents, freenet, etc. are tools of empowerment.
Cyberpunk was mainly a conversational / cyberactivist virtual community. It became transnational quickly and contributed some very good discussions and theories that helped us understand the social impact and possibilities of distributed networks.
But in 2002 three of us founded Las Indias Society, a consultancy firm focused on innovation and networks dedicated to empowering people and organizations. Our experience soon became very important in understanding the opposition between “real” and “imagined” communities, and the organizational bases for an economic democracy. After the cyberpunk dissolution in 2007, the “Montevideo Declaration” openly stated that our objective will be to construct a “phyle,” a transnational economic democracy, in order to ensure the autonomy of our community and it members.
found/co-founder of las indias
How they resolve the tension between mechanical elements—structures—and organic—interpersonal relationships—is the difference between a community that empowers its members and one that drains them.
Anything that can be “org-charted” is a antibiotic that should be carefully reserved for times of need, because just as it allows us to confront extraordinary limitations, its prolonged use hopelessly weakens the body that we’re trying to care for.
The problem with the mechanical conception of community isn’t just that it destroys real communities that decide to adopt it, but it destroys the whole field of meanings around community values by association.
in the end, what is unbearable is the logic of scarcity as the governor of life in common because it’s inevitably going to create an intimate ideology that will see every decision as a “zero-sum game”. Regarding the rest of the world, what’s left of all mechanical communitarianism is the same thing that’s left of monasticism: the idea that a community is a zero-sum game where, when the “community” wins, the individual loses. So, when tensions become unsustainable, the crisis always blows up due to fairly rapacious and suicidal individualism, but ultimately, isolating, myopic, and defeatist individualism.
the highest poverty ness
if we need it to tell others what we are, normally it’s because we have an over-scaling problem. If we tell ourselves what we are by using it, we don’t value the real community that supposedly is are underneath–the individuals and organic relationships that make it.
To put it crudely: everything distributed through the minimum income would become consumption without affecting investment and savings.
? – what is the basis of saying that..? i’m not sure that’s true. but regardless.. savings really is tied up with the illness of money. there is a nother way.
He’s thinking not like the good economist that he is, but like a typical economist of a financial institution, or like a consultant for an international organization, *providing a solution to a single problem—the deflationary trends that weaken growth—without considering anything else. He’s not thinking like Keynes thought, except insofar as Keynesians now run the World Bank and other temples of the “international class.” And he’s wrong because the impact and social meaning of public policies are measured by much more than their effect on interest rates.
*single problem – indeed.. unless bi is seen as transition/jumpstart ie: radical econ ness.. it is partial.. as is anything that has ie: savings ness as an element and/or focus
What’s more, he’s missing something fundamental that Mason and Bauwens could see: that the reduction of optimal productive scales—of which AI is a part—together with distributed networks, *provide an opportunity for a profound change in the economic system: going from producing value to producing abundance. As a result, he doesn’t see the most basic thing: just because big businesses aren’t going to absorb the surplus of labor that they themselves produce, that doesn’t mean that this surplus is going to be permanent, or that the working class has no other alternative than living life subsidized by State rents.
In the world of the basic income, it’s not creative citizenship—what you contribute to society through your work—but national identity that guarantees you a minimum income. As Varoufakis himself says, in a regime of “guaranteed minimum income,” it’s the transfers from the State that make you a citizen, independent of your contribution. To me, that seems like a true moral perversion. But its political consequences are still worse.
neither should.. just being human makes you a citizen.. no?
The Europe of the basic income would no longer be the Europe that considers migrants on the basis of what they contribute to social security, but a double-walledEurope that would see migrants as more people the “social dividend” that Varoufakis talks about has to be distributed to. They become competitors in the zero-sum game that the distribution of a given benefit always is, and not as workers whose work creates value and supports everyone’s social security and pensions.
again – what are we missing with this mindset that money is a given..
One of the main reasons that racism is growing across Europe is the loss of the centrality of work, due to the increasing importance of grants and social assistance to many precarious families.
hmm. i don’t know. i think the having to work ness is a myth we’ve taught ourselves.. i think our essence/soul.. craetes/creates art.. if we set it free. 100% free..
he also doesn’t seem to realize, as we’ve seen in the Swiss campaign for the referendum, that it opens the door to a brutally regressive tax system and an exponential rise in inequality.
this writing by David.. is actually making the point.. that once in money (any measuring of transactions) it’s a tangled web of not-us ness…
but to be careful… that doesn’t make it about: making sure there’s savings.. or that taxes are fair.. a kinder web.. but a web non the less. today we have the means to disengage from the web.. the giant hairball.. we can’t miss that..
It wouldn’t necessarily have to be this way. A basic income can be built on a more balanced tax system, but advocates of the basic income can’t just gratuitously advocate a move to a tax system based only on indirect taxes.
we can do better.. ie: bi can be built as a placebo.. meaning… built for a temporary aide so that 7 bill of us can leap.. to a better way.. for (blank)’s sake…
There’s no doubt: the basic income starts with good intentions. And yet, it would be a grave mistake.
perhaps not if seen w/in a solution.. not as the solution..
The main problem with the basic income is that it would mean the definitive end of the centrality of work in the social narrative.
hmm.. work as we know it.. but not the work of an artist..
w/bi as part/placebo/temp solution.. redefine work as art
…..its direct consequences are quite practical: the rise of the centrality of the nation-State and national identity in daily life, with the consequent legitimization of nationalism and xenophobia.
And if this wasn’t enough, a very possible reinforcement of the rising trend of inequality because of the kind of regressive tax system proposed as fiscal base of this model. …..
In summary, it attacks everything in the world we live in that makes it possible think about and work for a good society that can advance towards overcoming scarcity and inequality.
@ for everyone!! But the way is not to inforce nationalism and unequality but to change how we produce (read the manifesto pl)
putting notes on las indias page
los Indianos (@lasindias) tweeted at 10:51 AM on Fri, Jan 20, 2017:
Why producing in common is the starting point
https://t.co/flDE0S3rw7 @mbauwens @StaccoP2P @KevinCarson1 @dmytri @paulmasonnews
Today we have an opportunity that previous generations did not: to transform production into something done, and enjoyed, among peers. We can make work a time that is not walled off from life itself, which capitalism revealingly calls “time off.” That’s the ultimate meaning of producing in common today. That’s the immediate course of every emancipatory action. The starting point.