Talk:Open Source Ecology
I have been aware of your work since you had SourceOpen.org and am very impressed that you have been able to actually begin physical production. I hope this will grow out of control (out of the control of the originators)...
I have some criticism directed at your claim that you intend to model the business after Open Source, and I hope it can be considered by you with care.
I am a religious follower of the prophet Saint IGNUcius. His wisdom enforced through GNU GPL trade agreement has made Free Software a competitor that proprietary corporations can no longer ignore.
If we are to emulate this social movement, it is important to understand what User Freedom is and what it means for sources to be open.
Hi Patrick: why don't you publish the argument here below in our blog, and preferably post-date it for March, a nice discussion to keep the blog alive while I'm on the road; if you have no editing access, you have to ask James Burke.--Mbauwens 22:54, 14 February 2008 (PST)
Developers Vs. Users or Workers Vs. Consumers
But I am convinced this is not nearly optimal.
Some interesting things occur when Consumers (or Users) are own the Physical Sources of production, even when they are not skilled enough to operate them that don't occur through worker ownership:
- The consumer owns the Product even before it is Produced. This causes trade to be minimized.
- Wages are separated from Profit: A worker-owner may otherwise overpay himself and disallow competing workers from accessing the Land and Capital (Physical Sources needed for that production, thereby keeping Price Above Cost.
- Abundance and real solutions are goal and never thought 'destructive'.
- Scarcity is not sought and those physical sources are real insurance.
- Unemployment is not a problem, it is the second goal.
- Work is to be eliminated as a hurdle on the road to riches.
- Low prices are always good and tend toward cost.
- Profit is meaningless except as consumer growth.
- Entire production chains are finally localized.
- Development is solved instead of being sustained.
In the world of Software, it is the users (consumers) that are guaranteed access to the Virtual Sources. Access is not confined to developers who happen to possess the skills needed to operate (program) those sources.
When the consumers (users) have control, they are always able to "go around" any owner/developer that is attempting to overcharge them while claiming those charges are merely wage. Competition is maximized when mere consumers are in charge. Making workers the owners does not solve this problem.
Here are some quotes to support my claim:
"Three Minutes with Richard Stallman" With free software, the users are in control. Most of the time, users want interoperability, and when the software is free, they get what they want. With non-free software, the developer controls the users. The developer permits interoperability when that suits the developer; what the users want is beside the point. -- http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,137098-c,freeware/article.html
"When we talk about computer users' freedom, we mean computer users -- not computer programmers, not the most powerful people in society," -- Peter Brown at http://ITManagement.EarthWeb.com/article.php/31771_3683791_3
And a short video supporting the opposite view = the idea that developers (workers) are the most important: http://YouTube.com/watch?v=8zEQhhaJsU4
Sincerely, Patrick Anderson -- Ownut 13:33, 13 February 2008 (PST)
Response to the General Audience
We are doing a practical implementation of the theory with the CEB press - see the review of the economic model for The Liberator by Steve Bosserman.
The model we use makes consumers de facto owners of production. Legally, a commons trust is the owner of production. Operationally, volunteers develop the product, they fund the production facility. Spiritually, the Creator is the Owner. We place the production facility in a commons. We give up our ownership to benefit the general good. To say that the buyers own it or the producers own it is insignificant when we operate on a transcendental economic plain. No-one really owns the resources. A commons is responsible for stewarding the resources - ownership ceases to have meaning - the commons follows a contract of not selling its holdings. The bottom line is the most attractive product for the consumer, and most attractive reward for producer. It's a win-win situation. It is spiritual economics in practice. It is creation of abundance on earth.
The Creator is the Owner. The Steward is the temporary Caretaker. One controls only that which one creates. Our work exemplifies this model in practice.