Peer Production Everywhere

Thoughts About a Society Based on Commons and Peer Production - And How to Get There

Commons-based Production in the Past

Commons-based Peer Production Today

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Traits of Peer Production

(1) Peer production is based on contributions (not on exchange). Peer projects have a common goal and every participant contributes to this goal in some way or other.

People contribute to a project because they want it to succeed, not because they need or want to make money - it's use value, not exchange value, that motivates them.

The effort required to reach the common goal is shared among those who care enough to contribute ("effort sharing").

Traits of Peer Production

(2) Peer production is based on free cooperation (not on coercion or command). There are structures, but no command hierarchies: Nobody can order others to do something, and nobody is forced to obey others.

Structures can and will adapt: If participants of a project are unhappy about some aspects of the project they can try to convince the others to change them. If that fails, they can still fork the project: they can break away from the others and do their own thing.

Traits of Peer Production

(3) Peer production is based on commons and possession (not on property). Commons such as free software and open knowledge play an important role as input or output (or both) of peer projects.

Where things are not commons, they matter as possession (something that can be used), not as property (something that can be sold).

The Future of Commons-based Production

Typical Principles of Such a Society?

(1) Everyone can give as they like.

Typical Principles of Such a Society?

(2) Taking from the commons means taking something as possession, not as property.

(2) Commons can become possession, but not property

-> There are ample reasons why production takes place even where there is no profit.

Typical Principles of Such a Society?

(3) Everyone can take commons into possession, as long as they don't take them away from others.

Typical Principles of Such a Society?

(4) If taking would mean taking away, the best way of solving this problem is to produce enough to satisfy everybody's wishes.

Typical Principles of Such a Society?

(5) The second best way is to distribute limited goods in a fair manner.

(4+5) How to Share Effort and Goods?

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(4+5) How to Share Effort and Goods?

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(4+5) How to Share Effort and Goods?

Typical Principles of Such a Society?

(6) Cooperation will be organized by area and by interest, and units of cooperation will nest and overlap as appropriate.

(6) Local Cooperation

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(6) Cooperation Between Projects

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Typical Principles of Such a Society?

(7) Production will take place in projects of people who work together on an equal footing (as peers).

What Difference Would It Make?

What Difference Would It Make?

How to Get There?

The Struggle for Peer Production

The Struggle for Peer Production

The Struggle for Peer Production

The Struggle for Peer Production

-> Access to natural resources, to production knowledge and to joint, peer-based production processes decreases our dependency from the market and from the state.

Favorable Conditions for Peer Production

Organizational Models

Cost Recovery

Effort Recovery

Resources