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The section is dedicated to the intersection between peer to peer dynamics, the new work culture and hacker ethics, the (im)material labor of knowledge workers, and their intersection with the traditional labour movement and concerns. It's also specifically dedicated to alliances between p2p movements and workers movements.


Conquering sovereignty over work, not just consumption

Editorial from Las Indias:

"Let’s start with a fact: consumption is an individual activity, something that we generally do alone. So, thinking about society in terms of consumption leads us to think that the only way we can transform our surroundings is through the “sovereignty of the consumer”—basically, changing brands. As consumers, we’re alone and infinitely small. Not even by joining together by the millions will we be able to question the hegemony of the great corporations, their regulatory capture, or their attacks on competition. All we’ll be able to do is get them to change certain practices in favor of others that are “greener” or “more social.” And that’s not a bad thing. But it’s clear that isn’t a place that makes us freer or more responsible. That’s why any attempt to build community through consumption, whether through cooperative forms or through networks and platforms, won’t go anywhere.

On the other hand, productive activity, work, is a community act, something that links us to others on the basis of commitments and responsibilities. It is there, in production on a community scale, where building egalitarian relationships becomes “spontaneous,” because the center is in everyone, and each one is a decision-maker. And when those products that incorporate our knowledge and our work enter the market, they enter the world of exchange, a space that, in turn, demands a strong ethical base.

Recovering the centrality of work and an awareness of what it means transforms us and transforms the world. There is nothing more revolutionary for a generation that has been thrown out of the market than to conquer work." (

Worthy of attention and support

  • The P2P Foundation supports the emergence of Commonfare practices of social solidarity for networked workers who co-created commons and shared resources (see our special section, as well as their integration with a strengthened welfare system. In particular we support the creation of 'labor mutuals', i.e. freelance coops which already exist in the French-speaking world (Coopaname in France ; SMart in Belgium, Bigre, etc ..; see the project of AltGen in the UK).
  • We support the Transnational Movements of Precarious Labor, working for "the self-organisation of precarious platform workers under conditions of algorithmic management". Gallum Cant describes the struggles of the precarious couriers here

See also:



“In the age of hand-crafting, the dominant forms of organization were the all-powerful churches, kingdoms, and hand-craftsmen guilds. Just as the age of machine-crafting led the emergence of today’s organizations, ending the dominance of guilds, kingdoms, and churches, so too will the age of mind-crafting give rise to new, more chaordic concepts of organization that will end the dominance of today’s organizational structures.”

- Dee Hock [4]

On the exploitation of workers by netarchical capital

"Rather than confine themselves to operating systems and PC software like they did in the 1980s and 1990s, the tech industry has figured out that the real money lies in being a middleman. By that I mean serving as the in-between point for, say, web traffic to newspapers and magazines (like this one); or being the go-between for taxi services, coordinating drivers and passengers through apps. In both of these examples, the original product isn't that different from the pre-tech world: a taxi ride, in the latter case, a news article in the former. The difference is that a tech behemoth takes a cut of the transaction. And also in many cases, the labor — the people making and producing and doing the things the tech industry takes a slice from — is more precarious, less well-remunerated, and less safe than it was in the pre-tech era. Looking at it this way, the tech industry doesn't really seem innovative at all."

- Keith Spencer [5]

On the Need for Worker-Owned Platform Cooperatives

"Coase claimed, corporations are the optimal structures for increasing economic activity.

But what if the nature of the economic puzzles that corporations evolved to solve have shifted? Thanks to software, the internet and artificial intelligence, the expenses that Coase identified can now be reduced just as well with tools from outside the company as they can from within it. Finding freelance workers via online marketplaces can be less costly, less risky and quicker than recruiting full-time employees. Collaboration tools are opening up space for manager-free forms of work. And contracting costs are likely to fall markedly thanks to the advent of blockchain protocols – algorithms that replace trusted third parties, and instead automatically verify transactions using a huge digital ledger, spread across multiple computers. As a result of these innovations, a new way of working is emerging: a series of interactions that are open, skills-based and software-optimised. Where once we had the ‘corporation’, instead we are witnessing the ascendancy of the ‘platform’. The question is: should we see this as a promise, or a threat?"

- George Zarkadakis [6]

From a Labor-Saving Civilization to a Labor-Creating Civilization

" I think the real wealth in the future does not come from saving labor but in creating new kinds of things to do. In this sense long-term wealth depends on making new labor. Civilization is not just about saving labor but also about “wasting” labor to make art, to make beautiful things, to “waste” time playing, like sports. Nobody ever suggested that Picasso should spend fewer hours painting per picture in order to boost his wealth or improve the economy. The value he added to the economy could not be optimized for productivity. It’s hard to shoehorn some of the most important things we do in life into the category of “being productive.” Generally any task that can be measured by the metrics of productivity — output per hour — is a task we want automation to do. In short, productivity is for robots. Humans excel at wasting time, experimenting, playing, creating, and exploring. None of these fare well under the scrutiny of productivity. That is why science and art are so hard to fund. But they are also the foundation of long-term growth. Yet our notions of jobs, of work, of the economy don’t include a lot of space for wasting time, experimenting, playing, creating, and exploring."

- Kevin Kelly [7]

Key Resources

  • Free and Open Software Applications that are safe and useful for unionists, labour and social justice activists: [8]

Key Articles

  • Working Online. Special issue of Work Organisation Labour & Globalisation. [9]: analyses how the development of online work has meshed with broader trends in organisational restructuring to erode traditional employment norms, time structures and models of behaviour at work, placing new stresses on offline daily life."

* iCapitalism and the Cybertariat. Contradictions of the Digital Economy. by Ursula Huws. Monthly Review, Volume 66, Issue 08, January 2015. [10]


  1. How to Find a Job Using Social Media [11]
  2. The Shareable Job Search Search [12]
  3. How to Create Your Own Green Job [13]
  4. How to Make A Franchise Shareable [14]

Key Books

Labor under Cognitive Capitalism

  • Algorithms of Resistance: The Everyday Fight against Platform Power. By Tiziano Bonini, Emiliano Treré. The MIT Press, 2024

doi [15]


  • Hyper-Employment – Post-work, Online Labour and Automation. Edited by Domenico Quaranta and Janez Janša. NERO and Aksioma, 2020. [17]
  • Guy Standing. Precariat Charter: From Denizens to Citizens. Bloomsbury, 2014 [19]: discusses how rights - political, civil, social and economic - have been denied to the Precariat, and argues for the importance of redefining our social contract around notions of associational freedom, agency and the commons."
  • The Eye of the Master: A Social History of Artificial Intelligence. by Matteo Pasquinelli. Verso, 2023. [20]: "A “social” history of AI that finally reveals its roots in the spatial computation of industrial factories and the surveillance of collective behaviour."

See also:

  1. Dyer-Withford, Nick. and Greig de Peuter, Games of Empire: Global Capitalism and Video Games. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2009.
  2. Neff, Gina. Venture Labor: Work and the Burden of Risk in Innovative Industries. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2012.
  3. Scholz. Trebor, Ed. Digital Labor: The Internet as Factory and Playground. New York: Routledge, 2013
  4. Peters, Michael A. and Ergin Bulut, Eds. Cognitive Capitalism, Education and Digital Labor. New York: Peter Lang Publishers, 2011.

General Political Economy of Labor

  1. Labour Aristocracy: Mass Base of Social-Democracy (H.W. Edwards) [22]: "Makes the crucial argument for the origins and nature of social-democracy as arising out of imperialist rent."

Key Podcasts

Key Policy Documents

[23] ; proposes 3 simple principles.

Key Statistics

  • "As a consequence, we have seen the formation of a global labor force concentrated in the global South, where there were 541 million global industrial workers in 2010, compared to the 145 million who lived in the global North." [24]

  • A report from Orange called The way to work states that, of 28.5 million UK workers, 3.64 million (13%) are self employed, 7 million (24%) are part-time workers, 7% are freelance workers, and 11% are in businesses with no employees. Otherwise stated: 55% of the UK workforce does not have a job in the traditional sense of the word."


  • Ann Pettifor: "The ILO predicts that by 2019, more than 212 million people will be out of work, up

from the current tragedy of 201 million. (World Employment and Social Outlook – Trends 2015 (WESO).) [25]

  • The consequences of automation in perspective:

"Are lacklustre wages an inevitable consequence of globalisation and technological change? Or has policy had a role to play?

Technology, according to new research presented at the annual conference of the UK’s Royal Economic Society, is not in itself the problem. Instead, a mix of globalisation and the decline of worker bargaining power have been responsible for employees’ woes. And, the paper suggests, bolstering trade unions would be a better way to shore up workers in the future than skills training.

The paper, authored by Alexander Guschanski and Özlem Onaran from the University of Greenwich in London, laid out estimates of the share of wages in GDP for workers in high- and low-skilled jobs, and those within manufacturing and service industries, from 1970-2014 in 14 OECD countries.

The wage share is a common metric which looks at how much of a country’s economy is made up by compensation of employees, rather than other elements like profits or dividends.

Overall, the study found, workers across 74% of sectors suffered a drop in wage share between 1980 and 2007, and 64% saw a fall of more than 3 percentage points. The trend was strongest and most consistent across countries in service sectors like postal and telecommunications, electricity, gas and water supply and retail trade, as well as manufacturing sectors.

The writers looked at how three factors — technological change, the process of globalisation, and shifts in worker bargaining power — influenced the slump in wage share. “Our results indicate that the decline… can be attributed to globalisation and a decline in bargaining power of labour,” Guschanski and Onaran wrote.

The pair said that the influence of new technology was much less noticeable. “While we also find evidence for a negative impact of technological change,” they said, “the effect seems to be less significant since the mid-1990s.” (

Key Videos

Platform Cooperativism and Labor

Full list of videos at

Our compilation so far:

Pages in category "Labor"

The following 200 pages are in this category, out of 964 total.

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