michel on crisis/transition

Michel Bauwens on being in midst of system change


adding page this day – Radio Evolve #459 – The Up Side of Our Current Crisis: The Peer-to-Peer Revolution (Michel Bauwens) via michel fb share:

how do we get from A, the current system in crisis, to B, a new system which has solved these systemic issues ?

Thomas Steininger insisted with challenging questions to problematize this transition:

(Radio Evolve is linked to a German magazine focusing on the evolution of consciousness)

” we are in the midst of a system change where a new collaborative culture, with a new recognition of collective contribution to a shared common good, is emergent now.

This new culture of the “commons” can come out of this chaotic and dramatic time of transition. Michel Bauwans offers a deeper understanding of the transition that we are experiencing right now, allowing us to see that our crises can be a big transition into a new culture of collaboration.

In this week’s Radio evolve, Thomas Steininger talks with Michel Bauwens about the Peer-to-Peer Revolution and the chance to develop a new cooperative society.”

50 min video – may 2020 [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HlKotHIQ9uk&t=289s]

7 min – i don’t think it should be in such stark terms as utopia vs dystopia .. i rather would see in terms of hybrid realities.. i’m more optimistic than most people.. yes there’s control.. but system hasn’t taken into account that we can (?).. so it’s reorganizing it’s capacity for control (ie: printing press et al)

10 min – my view is that we are in a transition.. to system w relationship between humans and other living things.. i do think p2p is a big aspect of it

16 min – this is what i’m talking about .. this capacity of civil society to self org at scale..t

ie: cure ios city.. via 2 convers as infra

17 min – 4 ways to exchange things:

1\ gift econ: i give something to you and you feel obligated to give something back to me.. doesn’t have to be the same.. but there is a reciprocity that is required

obligation ness and reciprocity ness.. as red flags we’re doing it wrong ie: tragedy of the non common

we need to either let go of the idea of exchange ness.. or make it unconditional

marsh exchange law: all trade must benefit those powerful enough to reciprocate – Heather Marsh

2\ distribution thru state system w taxes/soc-sec et al

3\ market

4\ commoning: creating shared resources

types of commons:

1\ shared resource (natural resources .. ie: fisherman make an agreement about who can fish when/where so fish not over fished.. rules et al)

2\ community which creates and maintains it (activity of choice)

3\ they do this with their own rules (way of governing society that is not state/market based)

19 min – capitalism has abolished this.. enclosures became very prominent in the 16th cent.. where nature of property changed form something communal to something absolute and personal

maybe we need to go back further/deeper than ie’s of commoning before 16th cent.. or whenever.. getting us to let go of property ness altogether

hardt negri property law et al

20 min – this is important because capitalist system was based on enclosing and privatizing the commons.. this is why we know so little about it in the west.. we are no longer familiar with it.. because it’s been pushed to the margin place

again.. i don’t think we were legit common\ing before capitalism came along..  so not familiar with it way back.. perhaps why we keep trying to do it part\ial.. because we keep looking to early history as an ie of common\ing .. rather than an ie whales in sea world

we already had many enclosures et al (just the fact that we would talk about possessions/property.. shared or not)

literacy and numeracy as colonialism/control/enclosure et al

and i don’t think legit  common\ing works if it’s just some doing it .. it’s a global/systemic phenom.. and if some aren’t able (ie: slaves to something else in all the senses.. too much/little wealth/freedom et al) ..the dance won’t dance

in undisturbed ecosystems ..the average individual, species, or population, left to its own devices, behaves in ways that serve and stabilize the whole..’ –Dana Meadows

but because of infra we built .. the internet.. people suddenly able to work together online.. the commons has re entered our consciousness

rather.. part\ial common\ing (aka: tragedy of the non common) has re entered our consciousness

then in 2008 when fin crisis hit.. there was a 2nd wave.. and explosion of urban common.. ie: ghent.. counting urban commons showing a revival

the only human institution that has been able to historically manage resources over long term.. is not market/state.. but commons..t

agree that common\ing is way.. but don’t think we’ve ever been there.. (ie: always have had some w not enough and others with too much et al) .. perhaps because we keep thinking we have to manage resources/people

bateson measuring as managing law et al

if you don’t have commons.. markets/states which are competitive systems.. will overuse their resources

again.. agree.. but we don’t have ie of that in all of history

21 min – we’re back in a period of human history where we absolutely need to mutualize again.. and bring down the human footprint.. this is really why the commons are so important

22 min – i think every civilization change is a change in value system.. ie: roman based on slavery.. work is for slaves.. latin word for work means yoke; christians come.. work becomes positive; now.. have had 300-400 yrs where value is based on extractive value.. all damage we do not part of our accounting system.. and all the work .. i call regen work.. caring for children/elderly/soil.. not recognized as a value creation activity

24 min – so what peer production and commons bring as a new conception of value is a conception of contribution

contribution: a gift or payment to a common fund or collection.

yeah.. i think focus on contribution gets us to tragedy of the non common

ie: ‘in undisturbed ecosystems ..the average individual, species, or population, left to its own devices, behaves in ways that serve and stabilize the whole..’ –Dana Meadows

ie of what p2p community will do.. want to recognize all people that have contributed to this project.. important.. because if only some people profit from work of the many.. then certainly in a voluntary system.. most people will stop contributing..t

this is huge michel

a huge red flag

if they would stop because they’re measuring/missing benefits.. they weren’t doing their art/commoning in the first place (if legit art you’d do anything to give it away).. not sustainable.. even if you try your best to tally out profits to all those who participated

not to mention.. can’t just offer benefits to those who participated.. 1/ the dance doesn’t work like that..has to be globally everyone or sync won’t happen.. and..  2/ that’s adding too much (inspectors of inspectors and paperwork et al) .. unnecessary energy suck

tragedy of the non common

literacy and numeracy both elements of colonialism/control/enclosure.. we need to calculate differently and stop measuring things

25 min – so basically the idea is that you create a membrane around your peer production community.. around the commons.. and you create a new way of distributing value internally.. so this is called contributive accounting

control/enclosure.. red flag

let go of any form of measuring/accounting

study on p2p value.. where 300 communities experimenting w contributory accounting systems.. a very diff way of deciding what is value

not diff enough

27 min – how this change generally happens.. first.. the minority.. people inventing patterns.. ie: purgatory.. allows christians to lend money; printing press.. make books quickly; double entry book accounting; et al.. all eventually will become a practice from the merchant class.. and eventually will evolve to become fully grown capitalist system

28 min – so have patterns first .. then sub systems.. then some kind of crisis.. this is the second step.. first is you are some kind of minority in emergent system w/in a dominant diff system..

ie: 18th cent.. suddenly a declining feudal class.. a growing industrial class.. and absolute kings that keep the peace.. and only then do we have the french/russian revolutions..

so this is how i see it.. we are not in the phase of emergence.. what we see for ie.. in tech the new powerhouses are actually open source co’s.. so open source already become standard in software industry..

29 min – for me if capitalism exists it’s because the capitalists/merchants had 2-300 years in autonomous cities w/o kings/emperors to control them.. so they created slowly a world adapted to their needs/desires

yeah.. i don’t think we have (or they had) any idea what their needs/desires are.. we haven’t ever been quiet/free enough to see/hear deep enough for ie: maté basic needs

and without going that deep.. we’re just creating a diff sea world..(aka: tragedy of the non common)..  not a common\ing world

30 min – and i think what commoners are doing today is creating a world that responds to their needs and desires

again.. i’d say not legit needs/desires.. till we are all free/quiet enough to legit hear/see.. and i think responding ness is a part of that not hearing ness.. a part of our hierarchical listening ..

if we want to get to the energy of 8b alive people. . we need to focus on curiosity over decision making (see decision making as responding to finite set of choices et al)

so these are not things that change from one day to another .. but they are long term processes.. which become stronger and stronger

yeah.. i think.. esp now.. seeing what’s possible in a pandemic (things supposedly impossible).. we can also see that we don’t have to slowly increment.. we do have the means to leap

and humanity needs a leap.. to get back/to simultaneous spontaneity .. simultaneous fittingness.. everyone in sync..


and we keep missing it

ie: report in 2011 that 1/6 of us econ already depending on *commons.. so shared knowledge resources.. et al.. new ecosystem emerges that is controlled by capital but has to recognize and work with open source communities

*not common\ing

31 min – ie: blockchain space.. to move from closed competitive entities to open collab.. it’s also extractive so i have my own critiques on bc.. but collab systems where can’t have a dominating company

32 min – what i’m trying to describe is multiple history where have multiple controls of control ie: capitalist to distributive to coops to global open source

34 min – thomas: so co’s use p2p to create new forms of dependence.. so is new world just a new world that uses p2p realities.. but just reorg’s our dependence in diff tech ways

from what i see.. yes

not common\ing

have to see this as both creation and struggle.. so my view is the following.. right now we have exploitation/control by capital.. we need to do what workers in medieval cities did.. create market forms that are generative to the commons

generative: relating to or capable of production or reproduction

i don’t think market forms can do that.. ie: detox wouldn’t happen fast enough.. and then the people wouldn’t know when enough is enough et al.. what we need is a means for legit needs to be met w/o money/measuring..so that people forget about (detox from) measuring

so we have to create coops.. solidarity commons.. all kinds of purpose driven .. mission oriented entities that can work/create value around the commons

actually.. we just need to listen & connect to undo our hierarchical listening ie: 2 convers as infra

and trust that ‘in undisturbed ecosystems ..the average individual, species, or population, left to its own devices, behaves in ways that serve and stabilize the whole..’ –Dana Meadows

35 min – this is not something you can do fast.. this is something that requires experimentation


it can be done fast.. today we have the means for fast (aka: a leap)

and it has to be all at once.. or we’ll always be out of sync

again.. humanity needs a leap.. to get back/to simultaneous spontaneity .. simultaneous fittingness.. everyone in sync..

but one of the strategies that i see is interesting is to find the connection between the open source model and the coop model.. we actually have a capitalized corp sector that could connect .. find convergence w open source models

i guess my most important argument is a neg argument.. the current system based on infinite growth is simply not a realistic option for the future

37 min – at the moment we can only solve a huge number of issues at the global scale.. so we propose a 3rd model (1\neolib 2\ protection ie: brexit et al) called cosmo local production

cosmo local ness

light global and share.. heavy local.. ie: permaculture very local but org’d global.. this model emerging.. appears to be marginal.. but if every city doing at same time

39 min – on global p2p consciousness.. .from labor to contributory consciousness.. saying i make rather than i work for

40 min – protocol coops.. ie: fair bnb.. new power base.. not local/national.. but trans local.. so these are the new forms of governance we have to be looking for.. already happening between barcelona and amsterdam on coop housing.. et al

43 min – thomas: i would call it a commons of consciousness

what we are do are creating protocolary orgs.. we’re sharing protocols.. ie: occupy and 15m.. use mic check and xyz.. et al.. not successful because not productive.. like permaculture.. a shared object creates link between all of us.. so this is how we org.. we org around affinity of shared objects.. t

oh no .. not that.. not a focus on objects (food or intelligence or whatever).. dang

those (objects) are results.. but not deep/strong/foundational enough to org around ie: rock or flower ness

we need to org around shared daily curiosities  ie: cure ios city

otherwise we’re just perpetuating our broken feedback loop.. of whales in sea world.. of tragedy of the non common

45 min – and we’re no longer limited by geography in spreading those practices.. this can now go very very fast.. something that works in one place.. can be copied in another place..

that’s where the potential leap comes in.. spreading can be exponential.. but only if we org around something deeper than ie: objects

main system weakening.. emergent p2p strengthening.. seed forms: maker movement, fab lab, working space – old factory take overs.. a contributory id.. doing something good for world at same time

but won’t be enough

find more at 1\ michel@p2pfoundation.net.. 2\ wiki.p2pfoundation.net.. ie: section on accounting w 400 ie’s et al





to (virus) leap et al

global systemic change

common\ing et al

to me.. main thing we need is a means to undo our hierarchical listening ie: 2 convers as infra



1\ undisturbed ecosystem (common\ing) can happen

2\ if we create a way to ground the chaos of 8b free people