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Mutualist Blog: Free Market Anti-Capitalism

To dissolve, submerge, and cause to disappear the political or governmental system in the economic system by reducing, simplifying, decentralizing and suppressing, one after another, all the wheels of this great machine, which is called the Government or the State. --Proudhon, General Idea of the Revolution

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

P2P Foundation Fundraiser

Michel Bauwens, founder of the P2P Foundation, is trying to raise funds to expand the Foundation's activities. The quality of writing on the P2P Foundation blog is incomparable, and I have relied heavily on material in the P2P Wiki on peer production, open source manufacturing, and desktop manufacturing, in writing Chapters Fourteen and Fifteen of my org theory manuscript.

I highly recommend Bauwens' extended essay "P2P and Human Evolution," and his shorter introductory essay "The Political Economy of Peer Production."

Bauwens' solicitation follows below. If you're interested in helping, you can click on the "Donate Now" button on the right-hand sidebar at the P2P Foundation Blog.

* * *

Dear friends,

Help us build a better more humane and sustainable society through the research and promotion of peer to peer alternatives. Help us build and strengthen the infrastructure of cooperation of the P2P Foundation!!

As you know, we believe that the current economic model is not sustainable, because it treats nature as infinite, while it attempts to render free cooperation more difficult through the creation of artificial scarcity in the field of culture of knowledge. While there is now a thriving sustainability movement, the achievement of an open environment for the global and local sharing of knowledge is just as important, as this is where the solutions for sustainability need to be generated.

The P2P Foundation focuses on creating a knowledge base and internetworking platform for peer production, governance, and property, and for open/free, participatory, and commons-oriented social practices, in every field of human activity: politics and the economy, the scientific and the spiritual.

We want go "get better at working together" by studying what works and what doesn't work in the emerging new social forms enabled by peer to peer technologies. We want to help people to have more fulfilling lives by supporting approaches and policies for meaningful constructive work so that social innovation can thrive.


Our Achievements so far

About two and a half years ago, we started building an ecology of online resources to serve that purpose:

- A Wiki (http://p2pfoundation.net) to build the knowledge base as well as well as a directory of initiatives. Franz Nahrada has called it the largest collection of free modes available on the planet. We have nearly 6,000 pages of documentation which have been viewed almost 3.5 million times. As an example, where else could we find an overview as well as details of the many emerging open design communities that aim to assist in the making of physical products? See http://p2pfoundation.net/Category:Design for these pages, one amongst many sections.

- A blog (http://blog.p2pfoundation.net) which keeps track of current initiatives and offers current thinking on p2p developments. Our blog has now about 700 readers daily and is growing at a constant rate.

- An interconnected network of social bookmarking sites, where our sympathizers exchange their finds on a continous basis

- A community center (http://p2pfoundation.ning.com) where people can discuss issues and get to know each other

- A series of mailing list, such as the Peer to Peer Research list

The people who work with us are often active in their own fields, and this leads to a cross-fertilization and co-learning of different initiatives.

In the last 18 months, as the founder of the P2P Foundation, I have also undertaken intensive lecture tours in academia, business and policy communities and institutions.

These achievements, the result of voluntary contributions by myself and a core group of active supporters, also come at a cost, and we could do much more with your active support, which would enable more consistent efforts.

We have created a non-profit structure in the Netherlands to achieve a next level of organization.



Contribute funding to our infrastructure of cooperation!!

We are at a stage where funding would be instrumental in growing our activities and reach.

We need funding of our physical infrastructure, which is now paid by individual volunteers.

We need funding to provide a less insecure financial environment for some of our full-time volunteers.

We need funding to formalize the knowledge base, to give it an extra level of presentation and synthesis so that it can appeal to new communities. Such synthetic reports are difficult to achieve on the basis of volunteering alone.

The funding would allow us to stimulate mini-projects that are proposed by some of our sympathizers, who would not have the opportunity to carry them out without some form of compensation.


Here is how we propose the money would be allocated:


- 3,333 EUR (one third) to fund a small annual stipend to assist one full-time worker with developing and growing the P2P Foundation

- 3,333 EUR to fund the physical infrastructure of cooperation: this includes servers/publications in print and in new media formats

- 3,333 EUR to fund proposed community projects that enhance the knowledge base of the P2P Foundation (new research as well as synthetic reports)

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kevin,

Your writing on P2P strikes me as similar in many ways to that of some leading 4GW theorists. As unusual as it may seem, I think these perspectives and yours have much in common.

John Robb (http://globalguerrillas.typepad.com/) writes about what he calls "Resilient Communities". Jeff Vail (http://www.jeffvail.net/2008/06/rhizome-platform-design.html) writes about a flat organizational construct he calls "Rhizome" and how it can sustain itself.

Neither discuss libertarian or anarchist philosophy as such, but their highly decentralized proposals align well with your P2P ideas. In fact, I think discussions with these writers might prove more fruitful than the libertarian-liberal ones at "The Art of the Possible".

--Edward S.

July 26, 2008 6:17 AM  
Blogger Kevin Carson said...

As a matter of fact, I'm a big fan of Vail and the 4GW theorists. You might be interested in Ch. 9: Special Agency Problems of Labor. Much of it is taken up with a discussion of labor relations as asymmetric warfare, which was influenced by them.

July 30, 2008 9:38 AM  

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