p2p commons manifesto

p2p commons.png

(2019) by Michel Bauwens, Vasilis Kostakis and Alex Pazaitis (http://wiki.p2pfoundation.net/Alex_Pazaitis)

link to whole book:  https://www.uwestminsterpress.co.uk/site/books/10.16997/book33/


intro’d via Michel fb share.. access to the first chapter and ToC of our new book: https://wiki.p2pfoundation.net/(Book)_Peer_to_Peer:_The_Commons_Manifesto


questions of book: What is peer to peer? Why is it essential for building a commons-centric future? How could this happen?..P2P enables a new mode of production and creates the potential for a transition to a commons-oriented

Table of Contents:

1\ intro (1.1 how is p2p related to commons)


2\ p2p & new ecosystem of value creation (2.3 new ecosystem of value creation)


3\ p2p & new socio tech frameworks (3.3 generative of commons based)

common ing.. perhaps via 2 convers as infra

4\ p2p & structure of world history (4.1 four modes of exchange)

marsh exchange law

5\ a commons transition strategy (5.2 intro ing reciprocity)


ch1 – intro: peer to peer


What is peer to peer (P2P)? Why is it essential for building a commons-centric future? How could this happen? These are the questions we try to answer, by tying together four of its aspects:

1. P2P is a type of social relations in human networks, where participants have maximum freedom to connect.


need to also/first free people

2. P2P is also a technological infrastructure that makes the generalization and scaling up of such relations possible.

let’s try this infra: 2 convers as infra

3. P2P thus enables a new mode of production and property.

perhaps ..production ness and property ness.. as cancerous..

4. P2P creates the potential for a transition to an economy that can be generative towards people and nature.

We believe that these four aspects will profoundly change human society. P2P ideally describes systems in which any human being can contribute to the creation and maintenance of a shared resource while benefiting from it.

first.. perhaps we need a detox/reset.. so we’re not contributing/creating/maintaining the same things we’ve been assuming we were supposed to contribute/create/maintain


Let us now assume that behind those computers are human users. A conceptual jump can be made to argue that users now have a technological affordance (a tool) that allows them to interact and engage with each other more efficiently and on a global scale. P2P is a social/relational dynamic through which peers can freely collaborate with each other and create value in the form of shared resources.

first begs we have a system/infra.. where 7b are freed up (as the day) to interact/engage and to have access to device/internet et al.. and in order to facil all this (so that people don’t keep doing whatever everyone else is doing) is a mech to listen to each voice.. everyday (as it could be)

P2P can also be a mode to allocate resources that do not involve any specific reciprocity between individuals but only between the individuals and the collective resource.

reciprocity is a killer


There are multiple definitions of the “commons.” We adhere to David Bollier’s (2014) characterization of the commons as a shared resource, co-governed by its user community according to the rules and norms of that community


common ing ness

Our focus here is on the digital commons of knowledge, software, and design because they are the “new commons” (Benkler, 2014). These commons represent the *pooling of productive knowledge that is an integral part of the capacity for any production, including physical goods.


*imagining humanity craves something deeper than productivity.. perhaps we could go there p2p style but via daily curiosity  ie: cure ios city.. rather than intellect/knowledge

thinking – knowledge as a common ..great.. but only a piece/part of cure ios city as common ing

The fast-growing availability of information and communication technology enables many-to-many communication and allows an increasing number of humans to communicate in ways that were not technically possible before. This, in turn, makes possible massive self-organization up to a global scale. It also allows for the creation of a new mode of production and new types of social relations outside of the state-market nexus.

again.. beyond production .. beyond info.. beyond augmenting intellect to augmenting interconnectedness


Today, by contrast, it is also possible to scale projects through new coordination mechanisms, which can allow small group dynamics to apply at the global level. It is, thus, possible to combine “flatter” structures and still operate efficiently on a planetary scale. This has never been the case before

what’s really a changer.. is a mech that can listen to every voice on the globe.. everyday.. and facil that.. ie: tech as it could be.. via 2 convers as infra

The hybrid forms of organization within P2P projects do not primarily rely on either hierarchical decisions or market pricing signals, but on forms of mutual coordination mechanisms that are remarkably resilient.

in regard to hierarchy.. it’s more that it moves back and forth like art/ists vs bot/ists ness .. graeber/wengrow back & forth law


Yet, the new forms of collaborative production that rely on P2P mechanisms do have *some hierarchies. Nevertheless, they generally lack a hierarchical command structure for the production process itself. Peer production has introduced the capacity to organize complex global projects through **extensive mutual coordination. What market pricing is to capitalism and planning is to state-based production, ***mutual coordination is to peer production.


**perhaps more extensive (aka: deeper) would be via a mech that has a detox embed as well.. making ***mutual ness less coercive/oppressive/consensus-ish.. et al.. and then.. rendering many things we believe to be supposed to‘s .. irrelevant

 The market and the state will not disappear, but the configuration of different modalities — and the balance between them — will be radically reconfigured.

perhaps not radical enough.. ie: the human soul craves we stop measuring


While P2P is emerging as a significant form of technological infrastructure for various social forces, the way of its implementation makes all the difference. Not all P2P is equal in its effects.

exactly.. and what we need most is the energy of 7bn alive people if we want an undisturbed ecosystem.. so we need (and can now enable) a mech accessible/useful/craved-by everyone.. we need everyone in sync

P2P enables an emerging mode of production, named commons-based peer production, characterized by new relations of production. In commons-based peer production, contributors create shared value through open contributory systems, govern the work through participatory practices, and create shared resources that can, in turn, be used in new iterations.

sounds like doing the same things (cancerous/inhumane like measuring et al).. just being kinder about it.. ie: saying anyone can access/share w anyone else.. but 1\ really isn’t available/accessible by everyone (many/most are not free as the day and many don’t have device/internet access)  and 2\ focusing on production rather than cure ios city is keeping us like whales in sea world.. so lots of iterating on not-us ness.. making things we don’t really need/crave.. et al

At this stage, commons-based peer production is a prefigurative prototype of what could become an entirely new mode of production and a new form of society. It is currently a prototype since it cannot as yet fully reproduce itself outside of mutual dependence with capitalism. This emerging modality of peer production is not only productive and innovative “within capitalism,” but also in its capacity to solve some of the structural problems that have been generated by the capitalist mode of production. In other words, it represents a potential transcendence of capitalism. That said, as long as peer producers or commoners cannot engage in their self-reproduction outside of capital accumulation, commons-based peer production remains a proto-mode of production, not a full one.

spot on (well.. again production as piece cure ios city.. not the focal point).. if we let go enough.. ie: of measuring/control/production et al

and thinking this radical change begs a leap.. so that everyone is in sync. otherwise we keep on counteracting.. and may never get to the full dance of an undisturbed ecosystem


Nevertheless, the new class of commoners cannot rely on capitalist investment and practices. They must use skillful means to render commons-based peer production more autonomous from the dominant political economy. Eventually, we may arrive at a position where the balance of power is reversed: the commons and its social forces become the dominant modality in society, which allows them to force the state and market modalities to adapt to its requirements. So we should escape the situation in which capitalists co-opt the commons, and head towards a situation in which the commons capture the capital, and make it work for its development.

perhaps by ubi as temp placebo

It is in this cooperative sphere of physical and service production where reciprocity rules should be enforced. We propose to combine non-reciprocal sharing in the digital sphere, with reciprocal arrangements in the sphere of physical production. Thus, in our vision, commons-based peer production as a full mode of production combines commons and cooperativism

reciprocity/tit-for-tat-ness is a killer.. ie: 10 day care ness

This will be the revolution of our times, and a fundamental shift in the rules and norms that *decide what value is and how it is produced and distributed in society. In short: a shift to a new post-capitalist value regime.

i don’t think *values work like that.. ie: graeber values law

a new phase in the evolution of the organization of human societies. This will necessitate a discussion about economic and political transitions.

let’s try this org: 2 convers as infra.. then we need no discussions on econ/politics.. less talking more doing/being.. ie: graeber model law.. let’s just model a nother way.. where everyone decides each day.. whatever..


towards achieving the greatest common good and the maximum autonomy.

towards eudaimoniative surplus.. begs we do this first (free people) by augmenting interconnectedness


Michel Bauwens (@mbauwens) tweeted at 5:38 AM – 1 Apr 2019 :
RT @S4Pattern: Let’s associate! & recover principles of reciprocity. Fig based on K.Karatani, from new book Peer to Peer: The Commons Manifesto by @P2P_Foundation mbauwens https://t.co/osDkNn1Yyvhttps://t.co/7vlbpamDY2(http://twitter.com/mbauwens/status/1112680506699776000?s=17)

reciprocity/tit-for-tat-ness is a killer.. ie: 10 day care ness


and now to rest of book: https://www.uwestminsterpress.co.uk/site/books/10.16997/book33/

ch 1 – see above

ch 2 – p2p and a new ecosystem of value creation


the capacity to relate to each other over the internet entails the emergence of what yochai benkler has called ‘commons based peer production (cbpp).. a new pathway of value creation and distribution  ie: wikipedia..



in cbpp some contributors may be paid/employed but all produce commons..

i’m thinking common ing has to be moneyless/measure less

cbpp is often based on stigmergic collab.. in it’s most generic formulation, stigmergy is the phenom of indirect communication among agents/actions..


cbpp enables ‘collective, distributed action’ by mediating social negotiation via internet based techs

imagine if we used techs to listen-to/facil daily curiosities.. no negotiation necessary

cbpp do have systems of quality control.. that rep a kind of benevolent hierarchy/heterarchy.. ‘the ‘maintainer’ or editor’ protects the integrity of the system.. however, and this is crucial, they do not coerce work.. to recap, cbpp is based on the open input; a participatory process of coordinating the work; and a commons as output

matters that people are free first.. or we’re just facil ing the ie: supposed to’s.. of school/work.. benevolent or not.. still a type of coercion/cancer.. from our current default to ie: voluntary compliance et al..

in capitalism, value is almost exclusively perceived in the exchange of commodities..  markets are the primary institution enabling and regulating exchange and hence, the creation and distribution of value..


aristotle – value is expressed in exchange of two goods.. usability makes goods desirable ie: use-value and exchange value

value then defined by desire/need for products of human labour.. exchange was all but an institution crystallizing this interaction

marsh exchange law et al

the pursuit of econ affairs before the industrial revolution was not merely some efficiency in equating the value of commodities. there was a notion of a ‘just price’ reflecting the true value of goods in exchange, one that provided fair compensation for all the agents involved..

really?  just price..? true value?.. fair compensation?.. what is .. and why.. compensation?..

w ensuing generations of economists, theoretical discussion on value gradually abated, and the concept became almost interchangeable w the market price..

since crash of 2007 – value topic surfaced.. trend is connected to contradiction s between what is being ‘valued’ and wha tis perceived as valuable..


mazzucato touches upon some very timely issues by revisiting the dispute about productive and unproductive activities.. … makers and takers..  she attempts to debunk financial interpretations of value creation and re connect it to material production.. most importantly .. she emphasized the influence, even in their absence, of ideas on value on policymaking.. crisis of value


(on 3 layers of: production; record; actualization.. of value).. the capitalist mode of production has been associate w private ownership and control of the means of production, hierarchical command of labour and the production of surplus value.. in contrast, cbpp is characterized by collective ownership and management of resources, horizontal coordination and the production of social value

the 2nd layer (record) concerns a systematic assessment that provides the means to motivate and nourish such interaction, allowing the system to scale and become sustainable..

perhaps we try hosting-life-bits.. via self-talk as data.. no assessment.. just deep listening/connecting.. so no need to motivate.. creating/emerging a scale that would approach the limit of a leap.. ie: everyone in sync

in third layer (actualization).. system of institutions guide meaningful interaction.. in capitalism the fundamental value of goods is expressed thru their quantitative relation w money.. which allows them to be exchanged as commodities.. their rep in monetary units determines both the means/ends of the productive process and money becomes the primary commodity acquiring exchange-value..

conversely in the commons econ.. exchange serves the circulation of the commons

if we let go enough.. listening would serve the circulation of the commons.. and we’d see exchange as a cancer..


the practice of exchange alone does neither presuppose nor determine a market system as the central locus of value in society..

i think it does (alone) presuppose a market/measure system as the central locus of value in society.. exchange ness is a cancer to humanity.. the tit for tat ness of it.. alone.. causes us to be ill/not-us

polanyi viewed markets as merely one of the available forms of *resource allocation, along w redistribution and reciprocity..  while various forms can operate simultaneously.. it is when a bulk of human livelihood becomes dependent on market that compels the shift to the market econ

*let’s do it this way: have/need ness ..  because ie: redistribution and reciprocity also cancerous to humanity.. (anything that measures)

there is of course no consistent defn of value in diff societies and times. value as a term alone has no concrete meaning, but it is to be interpreted w/in a broader social whole (graeber 2001)

? graeber values law

perhaps we let go of trying to define/interpret value altogether..  seems to be (and has been) a time suck

in p2p, value is attributed to contributions .. and is reflected in the shared significance of those contribution as recognized by those peers..

why.. why do we need to recognize value..?   like that’s even possible..  how can someone determine value for someone else..? (assuming that’s what is meant here.. ie: recognizing value)

the aim is not a shift from on monolithic value regime to another.. instead, we make the case for value sovereignty, that is enabling communities/societies to self determine value for themselves and develop accounting practices to allow this recognition to take place

am seeing recognition and accounting.. as cancerous to humanity/relationships

in a transition period, the reis value competition.. hence.. recognition of diff forms of value is necessary

i don’t think so.. i think we just need a nother way to live.. w/o trying to measuring/recognize values.. one that all of us can leap to

3 institutions in cbpp: 1\ productive community  2\ entrepreneurial coalition  3\ for benefit association  (ie’s: wikipedia/wikia-co/wikimedia-foundation; wordpress/automatic-co/wordpress-foundation)


on generative entrepreneurs.. creating value.. w/o obeying/asking-permission/et-al


four case studies:

1\ enspiral: primary motivation was to enable skilful individuals to commit more time to socially oriented projects.. so developed a form of collab..


2\ sensorica: dedicated to design/deployment of sensors and sense making systems..

3\ wikihouse: open source construction kit to enable global community to share designs/tools to house construction

4\ farm hack: community of farms that build/modify their machinery..  aimed at discussing/producing solutions to various problems related to farming tools

3 – p2p and new socio technological frameworks


our vantage point is to consider to what degree the new networking technologies are useful in the context of a transition towards a commons centric society

consider augmenting interconnectedness.. via 2 convers as infra.. tech as it could be..


internet created capacity for 1\ many to many communication  2\ self org  3\ create/distribute value in new ways

like printing press before it, the internet has created a historical opp for reconfiguring production, exchange, and the org of society at large..

rather.. a way to let go of production/exchange..and just help org/facil society via listening to daily curiosities  ie: cure ios city

the core emancipatory feature of teh internet lies in tits capacity to massively scale up many to many communication and therefore in its capacity to lower the cost of self org and create and distribute value in radically new ways

rather.. scale communication to 7b voices everyday.. which would free us up to redefine everyday life (ie: eudaimoniative surplus) .. everyday.. (making cost/distribution irrelevant)


chart on global commons; localized commons; netarchical capitalism; distributed capitalism.. (x axis: extractive to generative; y axis: distributed/local to centralized /global)

if we let go of money/measure.. we can just deal with 2 right quads..

4 – p2p and the structure of world history


p2p not new.. it has existed since dawn of humanity and was initially the dominant form of relationships in nomadic hunter gathering societies..

hunter gatherers.. human history .. et al

holmgren indigenous law via 2 convers as infra

4 modes of exchange

we have to let go of thinking ‘exchange’.. dang

1\ reciprocity of gift based on community – pooling thru commons

am thinking reciprocity is cancer to community/commoning

2\ ruling/protection via state-like apparatus – plunder and redistribute

imagining protection via gershenfeld something else law

3\ commodity exchange .. capitalist market

4\ association – which would transcend power of state and class divisions of market – return to higher level of complexity –

great if it would.. but if measuring.. just another form of both (power and division)


our approach is related to the theorization of ‘revolutionary reform’ by andre gorz.. a rev reform is acceptable to the existing system but also creates conditions for its transformation.. ie bi

bi as temp placebo


5 – a commons transition strategy


erik olin wright: ‘if you are concerned about the lives of others, you have to deal w capitalist structure and institutions.. taming and eroding capitalism are the only viable options..  what you need to do, is participate both in the political movements for taming capitalism thru public policies and in socio econ projects of eroding capitalism thru the expansion of emancipatory forms of econ activity’

or.. we could just free everyone up at once.. to an ecosystem that everyone (even capitalists or whoever) is already craving in their soul.. ie: deep enough for 7b to resonate with .. today


we mostly agree.. for us.. eroding capitalism points to necessity of creating a prefigurative commons centric econ w/in existing capitalism


pooling both ‘immaterial’ and material resources are a priority.. now own of the most importan characteristics to obtain both ‘competitive’ and ‘cooperative’ advantage..

pooling – or in other words ‘the commons’ should be at the heart of the productive and societal system

yeah.. but if we compromise the commons before we even start (ie: competing.. and even insisting on cooperating..).. ie: by measuring.. we’re just cycling around again

for material goods.. instead of practice of ‘from each according to ability to each according to needs’.. we may need a reciprocity principle.. ‘to each according to their contribution’

r is cancer guys

keeping track of contributions.. labeling something as contribution.. getting it in people’s mind that they have to contribute.. all cancerous

let go and trust have/need ness (trust has to be unconditional or it isn’t trust – unconditional trust – an oxymoron..)


cooperatives – platform cooperatives

platform coops


predistribution of resources is necessary rather than post facto redistribution

agree on the redistribution.. but pre can be just as bad..  esp when we have the means to allocate just in time.. as needed..


ie’s: barcelona; bologna


strategy – 3 phases

1\ emergence of commons based seed forms provisioning: food, shelter, energy (ie: energy coop; community kitchen; ..)

what we need most/first: the energy of 7bn alive people.. then everything else will fall into place.. if we’re listening deep enough .. ie: undisturbed ecosystem

2\ development of regulatory/institutional frameworks

2 convers as infra

3\ normalization of commons based practices..

begs a leap.. because sync matters (it’s what we’ve been missing.. in the tragedy, and michel having to figure out how to get a salary..  et al)

also a *critical mass of initiatives needs to be operating before political action can be summoned and relevant institutions designed..

*7b everyday would do it..  no?

we argue for a commons based reciprocity licensing, which has been called ‘copyfair’

true commoning would have no licensing/reciprocity..


a good ie is the transition town movement and how it uses networks to empower local groups..

transition town

indeed, it has been shown that the city context appears more mature for a commons transition..

imagine if we facil  daily curiosity  ie: cure ios city

commons repositories of knowledge, software, and designs can be shared..  however. this is not enough..  the only way to achieve systemic change at the planetary level is to build counter power .. tha tis alt global governance..

ie: 2 convers as infra


because the world is multimodal, it does not make sense, and *it is impossible, to create a ‘totalizing’ commons world.

*says who?

it has to be all of us.. or it won’t work.. that’s why it’s not yet worked.. we can’t seem to accept that it’s unconditionally .. all of us

we could however aim for a commons centric society where market forces and state function s are ‘discipline’ at the service of the commons..

we’ve tried that before..? no..?


our approach is complementary to: nick dyer witheford; paul mason; jeremy rifkin..  however.. both mason and rifkin lack much focus on social/political contradiction of transition..and are strongly techno deterministic..  and don’t include detail about the transition itself..

ie: short

tech no deterministic approaches often celebrate post scarcity visions of future..  issues of scarcity cannot simply be engineered away by more efficient production methods

but scarcity can become irrelevant by better augmenting interconnectedness..  getting us back/to eudaimoniative surplus/undisturbed ecosystem.. where we all can hear what we truly need.. as healthy connected beings

we’re.. not basing on utopian desires.. but on constant analysis of seed forms and successes.. a realistic pic..



we thus propose an integrative strategy for a broad societal transition that differs from the classic left narrative of previous centuries..

? differs? i don’t know..


walking the commons – city sketchup via walking the commons


june 2019 – Michel BauwensVasilis Kostakis added to next system ie’s: How to Create a Thriving Global Commons Economy (much from commons manifesto)

dear friends, thanks for spreading this,
this is the first US-based report on peer production
How to Create a Thriving Global Commons Economy
for The Next System Project
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/mbauwens/status/1139720438949400581

CBPP. As noted, its members may be paid or may volunteer their contributions out of sheer interest.

i don’t think it’s common ing if there is pay – am seeing any type of money (any form of measuring/accounting) as cancerous to common ing

Much depends on whether we can pull off more sophisticated types of reverse cooptation.

cooptation: to elect into a body by the votes of the existing members. to assimilate, take, or win over into a larger or established group: The fledgling Labor party was coopted by the Socialist party.

best way is to offer something 7b souls are already craving..

Commoners must create interconnected transvestment vehicles that admit capital disciplined by the new commons and market forms developed through CBPP. For example, “double-licensing” schemes require those who wish to capitalize to pay a license fee or join the commons-based neo-guild. This approach creates a flow of value from the system of capital to the system of the commons economy.

i see that approach as blocking flow.. as cancerous to flow..

True, CBPP does not solve many of today’s inequalities and systemic social unfairness, especially involving race and gender. Nor does it directly address the hidden environmental and social costs of digital technologies, which are energy-intensive throughout their life-cycle, from cradle to the grave. Also, low-wage laborers (often including children) work under inhumane circumstances so that ever more people in the advanced economies have access to cheap digital technologies.

gershenfeld something else law/augmenting interconnectedness would/could

But these shortcomings and injustices can be addressed, and CBPP traces a unique grand institution dealing with value creation that is far removed from the catastrophic characteristics of modern capitalism. This connection to sustainability is likely to open up new spaces for a free, fair, and long-lived society.

perhaps kinder.. but not deep enough

today we can go deeper.. but we can’t go part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake..

a nother way


Michel Bauwens (@mbauwens) tweeted at 5:08 AM – 1 Aug 2019 :
I am very happy with this,
our good friend Ira Mollay will work on this during the summer (and has done a good part of it already):
This is the raw material for an upcoming MOOC on commons economics:
https://t.co/frZY8wWwDm (http://twitter.com/mbauwens/status/1156884457787461632?s=17)


Michel Bauwens (@mbauwens) tweeted at 1:15 AM on Fri, Feb 28, 2020:
The ecosystem of commons-based peer production and its transformative dynamics – Michel Bauwens, Alekos Pantazis, 2018 https://t.co/PKEOSBpLSR

This essay discusses peer-to-peer social dynamics and the relevant *technological infrastructures that enable new modes of **production. Commons-based peer production is presented as an alternative to the profit-driven peer-to-peer production models of the digital economy. The latter models utilize the peer-to-peer dynamics to harness social creativity, collaboration and information sharing. The created value is then captured and valorized towards profit maximization. This essay argues that there are possibilities for moving away from such extractive models to more generative ones. Commons-based peer production seems to encapsulate both social and environmental sustainability, and thus has the potential to influence such a transition. ***As commons-based peer production cannot yet reproduce itself outside of a mutual dependence on capitalism, it risks being subordinated. To counter this, a commons-oriented solid and ****protective ecosystem is needed to fully unleash the creative capabilities of commons-based peer production.

*let’s try 2 convers as infra so that we can let go of **production ness

***let’s try money (any form of measuring/accounting) as the planned obsolescence ie: ubi as temp placebo..

****best protection is an ecosystem where everyone is too busy doing their thing to think about extracting/producing/et-al ie: gershenfeld something else law


eutopia workshop