[p2p-research] IMPORTANT, seven pathways to social power
Paul D. Fernhout
pdfernhout at kurtz-fernhout.com
Sat Nov 7 20:55:56 CET 2009
Michel Bauwens wrote:
> This is the summary explanation: "In practice, therefore, the concepts of
> capitalism, statism and socialism should be thought of not simply as
> all-or-nothing ideal types of economic structures, but also as variables.
> The more the decisions made by actors exercising economic power determine
> the allocation and use of resources, the more capitalist is an economic
> structure. The more power exercised through the state determines the
> allocation and use of resources, the more the society is statist. The more
> power rooted in civil society determines such allocations and uses, the more
> the society is socialist. "
As is pointed out by Domhoff here:
businesses, churches, governments, and the military are all potentially
strong hierarchies that may organize human affairs.
But, then social meshworks like p2p way be present too.
As Manuel de Landa suggest, there are always both meshworks and hierarchies.
My wife explores aspects of that in a paper here:
"The Wisdom of Clounds"
"One way to use the ... framework is to remove all set boundary lines and
make the space itself meaningful through the imposition of dimensions of
continuous variation. The canonical axes for the ... framework are as
shown in the figure on the right. The strength of central connections
grows from left to right, and the strength of constituent connections grows
from bottom to top. I like Manuel de Landa's (1997) terms for these forms
of connection: hierarchy grows from left to right, and meshwork grows from
bottom to top."
So, you can may a society in this space. You can, say, have strong
hierarchies and no strong meshworks. Or, you could have both. Or neither. Or
strong meshworks and no strong hierarchies. Of some mix in the middle of
weaker meshworks and hierarchies.
Within than, then one might talk about what type of hierarchies you have.
But, is there really that much difference between, say, a church hierarchy
and a business hierarchy? It may matter a lot in the details of how the
hierarchy justifies itself, but is there any difference in operations?
But there can be greater confusion. In the USA,
Republican/FiscalConservatives arguing for the market make the argument on
the grounds the market is a stigmergic meshwork. But many "Liberals" argue
about the power of Big Business hierarchies, while sometimes talking about
money going from the state to local needs and local meshworky projects.
Anyway, there is a lot of confusion in general on these themes, because we
are mixing at least two types of organizational themes (meshworks and
hierarchies) and then you can have multiple overlapping versions of each.
For example, in the Netherlands, the overlapping business and church
hierarchies kept each other in check somewhat.
And as Manuel de Land says, there are no pure forms of meshworks and
hierarchies, and they tend to turn into each other. And there is even
another issue of levels and interfaces, as one builds one type of form on
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