michel life story & responses

michel’s page getting too long (hard to add/find things).. so adding this 90 min interview here.. and too.. adding on the twitter responses from @dilgreen and @mbauwens and @johnthackara

Michel Bauwens (@mbauwens) tweeted at 8:10 PM on Tue, Mar 12, 2019:
On 24 January 2019, in Hong Kong, Lau Kin Chi et al. interviewed Michel Bauwens who talked about how his childhood, background and life trajectory informed his activism and thinking. Produced by Global University for Sustainability, January 2019.

18 months taken from home.. center was abusive – forced eating and glass bubble.. then 6ish to nice place.. didn’t like school but was smart.. then 13ish not good..

8 min – i absorbed what others were feeling.. not a good place to be.. ie: watching may 68.. i was there.. et al.. i feel today this is something we lost.. this idea that socialism was uniting everyone in the world.. felt solidarity w struggles.. ie: wasn’t somebody else

10 min – age 14.. i was a marxist w/o knowing it

12 min – didn’t like the segregation in the us.. belgium didn’t have that

15 min – even though we hated capitalism.. we wouldn’t have a job w/o it

16 min – 7-8 yrs was leader in active militant group.. then.. signs things weren’t going to happen..  discrepancy of how rosy it seemed w/in the movement.. but nothing happening global..70s revolution.. 80s counter revolution

19 min – then period of leveling off (hierarchy ness) but not paid as much

20 min – motorcycle accident.. 3 months in hospital.. none of friends came to visit me.. so.. too busy.. questioning that..  on other hand. . ones that are good with each other.. exclusionary..

21 min – unhappy in many ways.. if i can’t do the revolution the world.. i have to do revolution inside.. so lots of spiritual searching and psych work.. i needed transition from being marxist and not.. i didn’t reject it intellectually.. i don’t know why it’s not working.. my life is just not good.. so had to reject activist life but mentally very much a part of it..

24 min – then walking in poor neighborhood.. and sun was shining.. the eye of god – philip k dick: ‘we live in diff world’s.. because of way we see it’

26 min – reichen therapy.. that psych is based in body – was my first experience.. very liberating for me.. for 3 yrs in commune..

27 min – then beginning of aids..  then starting working for us info agency.. ref librarian.. so i discovered aids before anyone else.. i was saying.. this is dangerous

29 min – can say for open relationships.. but gut doesn’t agree.. so i left

30 min – then to place where all modern therapists were.. counter marxist.. good people .. but structures keep us from being cooperative.. system is bad.. problem is too extreme view.. then you’re a victim.. ie: if it’s the school et al.. you have no control..

we could.. we should..

ie: supposed to’s.. of school/work

32 min – so swinging from polarities.. can be good if end up back in middle..  ie: i am my body.. to.. i am not my body..

35 min – went thru many psycho drama therapies.. hit bottom.. which is good.. had to make a decision..  so 2nd step.. 1st psychology.. 2nd spirituality..  ended up w osho

38 min – then to own tradition.. alchemy, templer, mason, et al.. agnostic monarchian movement – ie: this is a bad world.. so god that created it cannot be a good god.. somewhere else is the real god.. so imagine in this world can’t do anything..  if try.. creates evil somewhere else.. so have to meditate and pray.. this made me sick.. and paradoxically brought me back to catholic tradition.. ie: have to help god create a better world.. even though i was still an atheist..

40 in – if unhappy enough to motivate you to search.. see all this.. and can see why any vision is relevant and can’t be absolute anymore

41 min – beyond civilization  by keith chandler.. i think he got it right.. when people lived in tribes.. no tragedy.. then class assigned.. slaves.. war.. then life sucks.. and religion is an org’d answer that justifies class structure.. order is bad.. chaos is good.. western is opposite.. god creates order.. about bringing order to world..

44 min – since religions leads to class.. hierarchy.. what we see now is inclusion.. civil rights.. so to him (keith) sign we’re moving out of the bad

45 min – lot of my friends.. danger w obsession w self and who you serve.. at age 35.. felt pretty screwed up and want to engage.. i’d done 9 yrs of library work and went into work of business.. 1990-2002.. politics not working.. in business things are happening.. ie: tech.. was quite successful.. a strategic knowledge manager for petroleum co..

47 min – 1995 started having doubts.. seeing world going bad direction.. early days of climate change.. zapatistas.. i felt a larp\half depression..  i believed world should be just based.. but i had given up on it.. i live in bad world but can do nothing about it.. this (business) is not the right thing..

48 min – 96-97 – bad relationship, father died, mother alzheimers, mafia types in co, ken wilbur was intellectual guru gone bad, so really big crisis..

49 min – have like drug withdrawal when relationship broke.. fever, primal scream therapy, good place to be.. when you look back.. all at once.. nothing to hang onto..

51 min – switched to saying.. i want to save the world.. this is me.. reconnecting w youthful vision.. but w diff energy than earlier.. ie: not w a righteous rage.. rather.. i have more of my act together.. and overflow of energy.. and i want to give

53 min – quit job, created magazine and made a movie..  (technocalyps) .. as 1st part of my integration.. i believe tech is a religion.. this doc was about that

3-hour TV documentary Technocalyps – http://wiki.p2pfoundation.net/Founders

55 min – unconscious religion that doesn’t recognize self – transhumanism .. et al..

56 min – my problem was.. i want to be engaged again.. and traditional marxism not working.. so re read marx.. fed on hardt/negri empire.. that was right book for me.. brought epic feeling that there is something good happening.. ie: globalization.. creating new conditions for revolution..  also read multitude magazine

hardt and negri

58 min – 2nd step.. how do we change the world today.. so i took a sabbatical .. moved to thailand – w wife – where i thought i could finance my sabbatical..

used time for a historical inquiry of – how does the world change..t

perhaps it’s never changed enough.. so perhaps that’s not the best place to look.. like trying to get wisdom from ie: whales in sea world

i think this is huge michel.. i wish we could talk

1:00 – system works for a while.. then doesn’t work anymore.. then all kinds of people looking for solutions.. these solutions have another logic that is inside that seed form.. it’s problematic

1:02 – indulgences… then printing press.. more level.. the accounting.. all these are seed forms.. signs of capitalism.. and that’s what i’m thinking today.. no longer capitalist solutions.. p2p, crowdfunding..

indulgences, press, accounting.. created for/by whales in sea world

1:04 – so for 10 yrs been looking at this and seeing.. subsystems .. some capitalist.. other new

1:06 – ie: people not wanting to make coffee for profit.. but just to make coffee and a good living.. (then described how he describes co-op ness for those both inside/outside co-op)

1:07 – so this is something new.. not capitalism.. so i started asking.. how do these commons work

dang.. not commons if measuring.. and have property .. et al

1:09 – so my vision of world today – all civilizations so far have died.. every time die because of ruling class in competition and in order to win over exploit and create structural crisis..t

another sign we need to look beyond/deeper than past cycles..

bauwens civilization collapse law

1:11 – commoners look at market and ask.. how do we make this work for us..

no.. we don’t look at what we have.. or we’re just tweaking and compromising and will never get to global equity.. we’ll never be in sync.. as we could be today..

1:13 – so how do we connect more?.. after 2 yrs of sabbatical.. started blog/wiki doing interesting stuff so people come to me.. – 2005 – needed structure.. and that was p2p foundation.. for 7 yrs not doing so well at making a living.. challenge for my wife

1:15 – the 2014 invited to ecuador.. wasn’t successful.. i think the left doesn’t know what to do.. extractivism is just another way to do capitalism.. so what ecuador did is create legitimacy for us.. i was now working for govt and things started going in right direction

1:16 – guy who set me up on linux – was spy – was blocking everyone who came to me.. he had put a filter to delete emails.. he would answer invitations that yes i’d come.. then right before would say.. i (michel) can’t’ come but would send himself in my place

1:18 – then ghent important.. 2nd step.. 1\ commons market – new types of licensing et al 2\ commons public.. how does city org self.. we’re using too many resources

ie: cure ios city – people that are truly themselves crave/need/use less resources.. very resourceful

1:20 – for me .. mutualization can save it.. ie: if you need a car there is one for you.. costs 70% less than buying a car et al.. replaced 9-13 cars

yeah.. imagine that to the max.. ie: most people wouldn’t even use cars anymore.. beyond sharing them

1:21 – probably hardest shift we have to face in history of humanity.. we have to find solutions that are able to maintain complex tech infra.. t

ie: 2 convers as infra

hardest part is letting go of hard won order (carhart-harris entropy law)

1:23 – we don’t know if survive.. all in past have suicided themselves.. if we really want to survive commons is huge.. the commoners are actually transnational (vs ie: sanders).. young people today say i do this/that.. vs i work for so and so.. more contributory

1:24 – if we want sustainable socially just society..  francious gross studies say.. can’t grow more than 1% a year.. otherwise exponential.. otherwise circular doesn’t help.. just delays.. 30-60 yrs later.. so he calls it perma circular.. a competitive system cannot solve this..

exactly.. not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake..  a nother way

1:26 – so that means we need shared supply chains..t

rather first we need the energy of 7b alive people.. so we quit spending/creating/exploiting time/energy on supplies we don’t really want/need

1:27 – *accounting system is crucial.. first writing in sumaria was a **ledger.. then capitalism created because of double entry book accounting.. t

*perhaps no.. and **perhaps that’s exactly why we need to not have accounting.. look at how cancerous that has been to humanity.. (the hierachiness of write ing)

1:28 – we need flow accounting (resourced, events, actions).. not double entry just shows where you are in ecosystem.. then we need contributive accounting.. how peer production works.. it’s not labor as a commodity.. it’s .. we’re all doing something together.. *how do we recognize each others input..t

no.. we need no accounting.. that’s the cancer man.. of math and men.. our demise

we need to focus on daily curiosity (ie: cure ios city) as the beginning of each day – not some project we all buy into for a time.. ie: cure ios city

*by a mech that listens to every voice everyday..first thing.. as it could be..

twitter responses:

@dilgreen: You can only listen to every voice every day in a small community. Accounting is not a driver at its invention (scale is the drive), but all such mechs have recursive impact. Trick is to design ever more life-like accounting systems (see mutual credit, multivalent reputation).

i’m not so sure we can listen to every voice every day in a small community..  (1\ most people are too busy to listen 2\ most people are not themselves – so not authentic voice.. et al).. begs a mech that can.. ie: tech as it could be..

am thinking trick is to let go of ac\counting.. (seeing accountable/credit/reputation ness as cancerous to human being)

@dilgreen (to me) I agree, but culture exhibits path-dependency to an extraordinary degree. 2 centuries of capitalist culture suffuses a matrix of pre-modernity. *It will take a long time to get to a gift culture..I believe strongly that mutual credit can be a bridge towards a gift mentality – an accounting system not predicated on scarcity-by-design, or debt/interest based monopoly issue, without commodity character – in my experience, it recentres exchange in the people, not the token.

*i don’t think so.. i think today we have the means to leap there.. and i don’t think gift culture is where we want to go.. it still embeds a reciprocal ness that compromises us/undisturbed-ecosystem

@mbauwens: dear Dil, do you have a webpage with info about your project or views ?

@johnthackara: meetup.com/Project-for-a-…

@dilgreen: (to michel) We are building our Open Credit Network website very soon. Currently focused on delivering proof-of-concept and making it work for real early adopters. Communication efforts will follow. We have a Loomio adviser network. If you’d like access there, let me know.

@dilgreen: Thanks John, the ethics project is dormant for now as I am focused on the Open Credit Network – a determined, wise (experienced!) group working to make a federated network of Mutual Credit networks. creditcommons.net

from site: The CREDIT COMMONS is a proposed accounting system to allow users of any local currency to exchange with any other..

yeah.. another cancerous aspect.. exchange

@mbauwens: (to dil) too overwhelmed to join another Loomio but thanks for informing me when site is available

too overwhelmed (busy ness).. perhaps this is what tech can do instead of us.. ie: listen to every voice every day.. no need for people to take it all in

@dilgreen: (to michel) You might like to read this as a deeper statement of intent: digital-anthropology.me/2019/03/13/a-t…

from site: We seek not to destroy capitalism, nor to reform it, but to transcend it ..We choose transcendence rather than revolution or reform for a simple reason – where revolutions are about dislodging the current elite through violence, and reforms are about preserving the existing system through adaptation, transcendence is about system transformation.

still from site: praxis – Transcendence works through the process of building new social relationship networks which take us, through direct experience, into the future we wish to see. We cannot proceed without enacting these; we cannot proceed appropriately without thoughtful design, and we cannot proceed effectively alone.

ie: 2 convers as infra

still from site: we.. Identify places and spaces where human desires and characteristics are ignored or suppressed. ..People will welcome and seek out modes of living that embody these more – on one proviso – that participation does not come at too *high a cost: bringing one’s children up in security will always trump less immediate needs, and the current model will always seem the most obvious in times of stress.

*begs we leap to a listening to every voice everyday

still from site: Economy is NOT money. Economy is the civil *organisation of capacity in the service of life. Civilisations exist through economic relations as communities exist through social relations. Transcendent relations (**including money systems) are designed to make care, trust, dignity, and respect for life provide more well-being – on a full-spectrum that explicitly includes what we would now describe as economic security

*try this org: 2 convers as infra

**has to be money/measureless.. if we want true capacity.. well being.. eudaimoniative surplus

still from site: Design for simplicity and interoperability: life works by knitting together networks of relatively simple interactions to suit particular niches. We avoid over-elaboration and over-complication.

simple enough for 7b to use/access today..   (facil daily curiosity  ie: cure ios city)

@johnthackara: (to dil) “the ethics project is dormant for now”. Sure feels that way :)

dormant..perhaps this is what tech can do instead of us.. ie: listen to every voice every day.. no need for people to manage it all

@dilgreen: (to john) ouch!

@mbauwens: dear john, did you have the chance to look at our p2p accounting report ?

@dilgreen: also: multivalent reputation: digital-anthropology.me/2017/04/15/tru…

from site: At the end of the day (well, the day before the singularity, anyway), it always comes down to people. To trusting people you don’t know. And we always do that based on reputation – mostly in the messiest, most amateurish of ways. Ways which work less and less well the less context we have for making the judgement…A Reputation Flower is an aggregate of many, many reputational indicators, of many kinds, summed on many separate axes, each concerned with some specific aspect…Many of these indicators will be public (the status of your driving license, your examination record, your ebay score, number of twitter followers, how many videos you have posted on YouTube and how many views they have received), and some you will have consented to release (perhaps your credit rating, your salary, your relationship status, your political party membership). Some will be hard metrics, some will be softer…they’ll be graphed to produce your flower..

reputation ness as cancerous

*so what’s the contribution.. you have to define this as a community.. this and this and this we will recognize as input.. t..

*perhaps wrong question.. like asking addict why addiction rather than why pain..ask..what are you curious about today.. won’t get back to an undisturbed ecosystem (aka: save the world) unless we let go of all these false/toxic conditions

then we have thermo dynamic accounting .. (then describe doughnut econ ness – planetary boundaries)

doughnut econ

gotta go in first – or wasting resources

this is just to give you an idea of what i’m working on now

1:29 – then the big news.. i just joined the electoral list of the greens.. so am a candidate for the european elections – symbolic


my priority: ethical livelihoods.. sustainable material production and policy/politics based transition at society level.. so move to transnational positions.. blockchain/open-source communities

1:31 – be careful how we gain power.. there’s a lot we can do to *make our societies more resilient and prepare the ground for a deep systemic shift

imagine if we just set up the infra so that the shift can take place all at once.. a leap.. because it’s based on what any human already wants/craves.. no need to *make people anything.. just set them free in this infra

ie: let’s do this firstfree art-ists.

if i were in a position to do this.. this is what i would do.. how can i stimulate my citizens to be more autonomous.. to work together w other places in the world.. and to create mutualized provisioning systems that are life on the planet ie: mobility, housing..  create mutual open source repositories.. so that we can all do it all (fair bnb, mini ride, et al)

true on it having to be all of us.. but we need an infra that wakes us all up (detoxes) us at same time.. so that we’re truly seeking eudaimoniative surplus rather than the waste we’ve been perpetuating for years and years.. by thinking we are whales in sea world

so we would build this basic global infra.. that would spread.. not thru the nation.. but that would spread laterally

for that.. it needs to be truly basic.. aka: essential to humanity (maté basic needs) – which we could get at for 7b people.. today and every day.. via 2 convers as infra

1:32 – then you need to defend yourself.. that doesn’t change

it does if you go deep enough that those who you would be defending against are also included.. again.. has to be everyone from the get go.. or it won’t work

this is what the labour movement did (had power/infra)

and those factions didn’t work..

this is problem today w occupy and yellow vests.. they don’t build resources.. capital for the commons

no.. we need a mech to wake everyone up.. we need to focus on augmenting interconnectedness.. again.. or otherwise we’re building/wasting resources we don’t really need/want