Alexander Bard, Cadell Last and Michel Bauwens on the Commons Tribes for the Internet Age

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Video via : (YouTube livestream link)

Monday November 22nd, 2pm Central European Time


"The commons is an ancient social structure of allowing for the exchange of value. The act of commoning can be defined as the act of exchanging with the ‘whole’ (i.e. doing something for the self as part of a larger tribe, clan, family, rather than for the self itself). Throughout the history of human civilization more complex structural layers for exchanging value have been built on top of commoning, e.g. including equality matching value (gift economy), distributing value according to social merit (authority rank), and most recently capitalist assignment of value (market pricing). Commoning can be thought of as the foundation of inter-tribal relation of value, where the value-extension structures on top of commoning can be thought of as forms for inter-tribal relation and commodity exchange. In the age of capitalism commodity exchange has overshadowed and eroded the importance of other forms of exchange value (i.e. merit-based rankings, exchanging gifts, and commoning), but with the emergence of digital networks, commoning is re-appearing with a new qualitatively dimension, and a new social importance. This can be seen in many online communities that operate on a peer-to-peer logic, i.e. where peers can freely connect and communicate, exchange, self-organize and create new ‘value circuits’. If these online communities can take advantage of new technological forms, there is the possibility for commoning to once again take center stage as the foundation for a global economy. This new center would not eliminate other forms of exchanging value (e.g. gift economy, authority rank, market pricing), but could potentially rebalance them in relation to a common tribal relation."