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If we accept Equipotentiality as the basic worldview and principle explaining peer to peer dynamics, then Coliberation is the active ethical principle derived from it.

It signifies both the shared transcendence of the group, and the practice of designing social processes so each of us can be the condition and enabler of the other participants reaching their highest potential.


Bernie DeKoven [1]:

"CoLiberation is what happens when we work extraordinarily well together. Like on a basketball team or in an orchestra, when we actually experience ourselves sharing in something bigger than any one who is present. This is what I call the experience of the "Big WE." It's a corollary to the "Big ME" experience of self-transcendence. If the Big ME is the "peak experience," CoLiberation or the Big WE, is like becoming a whole mountain range." (

"In the relationship between ME and WE, one doesn't threaten to become the other. One is the other.

Sometimes WE are really wonderfully fun to be part of. Truly empowering. Truly mutually fun.

You make a joke with a stranger, and suddenly you find yourself being very clever, extraordinarily clever, in fact. You're saying things you clearly wouldn't ordinarily be saying. You're acting in a way you wouldn't ordinarily.

Or you're just talking a walk with someone and you and the world feel suddenly brighter--intellectually, physically, environmentally.

For some reason, in some way, the WE that you are creating and becoming part of is making each of us more fun - smarter, more, more alert, more alive.

I call this experience CoLiberation.

It's the experience of ME empowering the WE empowering the ME. ME and the Other freeing each other. Me and the Harmonic creating the music, ME and the Group Mind, the Team Spirit creating each other.

Depending on how we create it, the WE creates us.

When the WE and ME are in balance, there is mutual empowerment - CoLiberation." (


Paul Hartzog:

"Although I never coined 'coliberation' (which I love) I DID make the case a few years back that there are kinds of cooperation that

1) constrain you

2) but enable new possibilities

and that if the benefit of the new possibilities outweighs the cost of the constraint, then the two parties are "liberated"

The key is in understanding that they were ALREADY BOUND beforehand, but that they were bound to a system in which they did not cooperate.

Again, it is a choice between being constrained/empowered by what:

you are doing now,


being constrained/empowered by doing something else (cooperating).

To make the point I used TCP/IP but any language will work. It goes like this:

BEFORE inventing a language that enables communication, two parties occupy a "space of possibilities." AFTER inventing a language that enables communication, the two parties occupy a NEW space.

The crucial point is that communication DOES NOT simply mean that they can now cooperate on things that they were already doing individually before (like farming). What it means to be in a NEW space, is that now they can contemplate, design, and execute things that were not even considerable before, and which would never have even been thought of (like building cities).

To make THAT point, I have used symbiosis of plant roots and fungi. It is NOT the case that the fungi were doing their thing, and so were the tree roots, and they teamed up to do it better. Symbiosis enable the new tree/fungus hybrid organism to consider utilizing (eating) resources that were not even possible before. For example, now the fungus can metabolize a substance for the tree that the fungus itself would never have metabolized before (because it had no use for it), and the tree can do the same for the fungus. It's only in combination that they see the new resources."