[p2p-research] 10 Boundary Statements about P2P and Social Justice

Ryan Lanham rlanham1963 at gmail.com
Sat Nov 7 16:45:14 CET 2009

This is an attempt to define P2P space in terms of a few boundary
statements.  Disagreement is encouraged.

ASSERTION: A strong P2P advocate would affirm all of the following with
minimal qualification:

1. A strong P2P advocate is someone who believes that care, maintenance and
advancement of property commons is a social ideal. A commons is a shared
pool of resources that is protected and used for pursuits that are decided
by the individual so long as they do not adversely impact the other members
of the commons or the common good.

2. A strong P2P advocate wants to minimize central, hub or corporate
interests in the commons and to maximize voluntary individual contributions
and uses.

3. A strong P2P advocate is against any form of compulsion to participate in
any commons.  No one is obligated to share.  Sharing is always voluntary.
In balance, there is a responsibility to attempt to avoid free riding and
use of the commons for selfish purposes without commitment to its further

4. The acceptable status of any social or political system to a strong P2P
advocate is defined by the capacity of such a system to allow for strong P2P
advocacy to exist and thrive.

5. A strong P2P advocate recognizes the right to physical and intellectual
property and physical and intellectual property rights. Such rights do not
extend to the capacity to obviously harm others or the environment for
personal gain.  Disagreements on these points are to be handled through
systems with due process, transparency and peer judgment where possible.

6. A strong P2P advocate believes the collective rights of groups of
individuals to be protected from destructive use of private property rights
is paramount.  However, such judgments must be compellingly weighed through
reasonable systems with due processes met for those who disagree or contend
with such judgments.

7.  The compelling ethos of P2P advances the common good, but respects the
individual and the individual's liberty.

8. The common good is generally understood to entail greater options,
greater access to possibilities and the prospect of living in communities,
environments and ecosystems that allow for health, well-being and the
enjoyment of material wealth.

9. Equal access to opportunities, to fundamental resources (such as those
that decide life or death), to knowledge and the pursuit of truth, and a
generally strong advocacy for a broad interpretation of human rights are all
ideals espoused by a strong P2P advocate.

10. A strong P2P advocate accepts and seeks a future where income generating
work is increasingly unnecessary and where social responsibilities are
nevertheless strong for mutual support, fairness, protection of the commons
and the common good.

Ryan Lanham
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