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

Michel Bauwens michelsub2004 at gmail.com
Sat Nov 7 16:54:11 CET 2009

Hi Ryan,

I think this is a really beautiful statement that we may want to widely

I wonder if somebody could make a nice design around it, like the U.S.
Constitution for example?

just a few nibbles in-line

On Sat, Nov 7, 2009 at 10:45 PM, Ryan Lanham <rlanham1963 at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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 advancement.

(what do you do with natural commons such as air, the oceans, it seems to me
that some form of coercion may be unavoidable in such cases, perhaps you
could add some extra phrase like "except in exceptional circumstances where
common survival is at stake" ?)

> 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.

(shouldn't we add 'reasonable' here? it seems to me it could say something
about exagerated IP monopolies?)

> 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.

(this is an answer to my comment on para 3, perhaps combining or referring
to this one?)

> 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.

(I would weaken this in order to avoid misunderstanding with market
advocates, for example: "seeks a future where income generating work is not
a condition for human survival?)

really great piece of work Ryan!!

> --
> Ryan Lanham
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