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"Exvestment (Kleiner) is one element of the identity transvestment (Kleiner & Gottlieb) which elaborates how to channel value out of capitalist circulation into alternative communal organizations and keep the bulk of it circulating there. One legal instrument which has been created to generate more exvestment is the Peer Production License.


Kleiner has previosly referred to Exvestment as 'Sustentation'.

The following is from Dmytri Kleiner on the Peer Production License Discussion List -

Here is a text on this topic, however what is called "Sustentation" in that text is what Baruch and I call "exvestment" now.


Briefly, forms of spending which may or may not benefit the individual making the expenditure, but reduces the earning capacity of their class as a whole. Whereas investment benefits the individual and the class.

i.e When a company spend money to improve Linux because that company makes money running a social networking site, that company benefits from such expenditure, however it is exvesment not investment, because the capitalist class a whole does not benefit since this reduces the market for commercial software by improving free alternatives and makes such means of production available to non-capitalist producers as well.

This is why I think we need to be careful when we apply the PPL (or similar) to software, because I think to maximize transvestment in the direction of commons-based production we need to keep Department I goods (Capital Goods or Producers' Goods) free for capitalist so they can exvest in them, while keeping Department II (Consumer goods or commodities) goods non-free for them.

Though we haven't yet written much on the idea of exvestment specifically, the Producers' goods vs Consumers' goods issue and the stages of production is explained in the original article in Mute Magazine "Copyfarleft and Copyjustright", the Telekommunist Manifesto, and also touched on here:


For instance here:

"In the stages of capitalist production, the Capitalist comes to market twice. The first time as a buyer, the second time as a seller.

   Marx described this as M – C – M’

In the first stage the capitalist buys commodities and labour time. In the second stage, the purchased commodities and labour time are put into production. The result is a commodity of more value than that of the elements entering into its production. In the third stage, the capitalist returns to the market as a seller; the new commodities are turned into more money.

The capitalist comes to market twice, the goods the capitalist buys are Department I goods, the goods the capitalist sells are department II goods. Though there are certainly grey-areas, in principal, we maximize transvestment by making department I goods free, i.e. GPL/AGPL, and department II goods non-free with the PPL.

In most cases Software is a producers' good, whereas cultural works are consumers' goods. Though counteredxamples can be found for both, i.e. Video Games would be Department II, whereas Clip-art is more Department I.

Source - http://lists.p2pfoundation.net/wws/arc/ppl.discuss/2014-09/msg00004.html

The final part of this email has been removed as it contained a mistake which Kleiner corrected himself continuing the conversation in the following email which continues below. The complete original emails can be viewed on the mailing list archive.

"In principal, if the capitalist would directly circulate the thing for money it is a Department II good that should be non-free for them, i.e. PPL. However if it something the capitalist use as part of the means of producing something else that they then circulate for money, then it is a Department I good that should be free for them as it is a channel of exvestment,

Other examples of Department I culture goods would be software thees, icons, fonts, etc, these should be free for capitalist to use. Other examples of Department II software are software-based artworks, demos, etc.

However in most cases Software is Department I and Cultural Works are Department II.


Source - http://lists.p2pfoundation.net/wws/arc/ppl.discuss/2014-09/msg00005.html