[p2p-research] Building Alliances (state and commons)

Michel Bauwens michelsub2004 at gmail.com
Mon Nov 9 20:41:51 CET 2009

Hi Kevin,

I think it would be useful, if you have the time, to turn your last
paragraph into a blog article (and for your stateless center), i.e. a useful
overview of the different hypothesis that posit a crisis for verticality,


On Tue, Nov 10, 2009 at 2:38 AM, Kevin Carson <
free.market.anticapitalist at gmail.com> wrote:

> On 11/9/09, Michel Bauwens <michelsub2004 at gmail.com> wrote:
> > I would argue, different from Kevin, that there is a common social good
> that
> > transcends mutualization, i.e. society exists beyond just individuals and
> > their relations, and that there can be institutions for that. But such
> > public instiutions could be very far removed from what we understand
> today
> > as the state, and may be much more acceptable to anti-state people like
> > Kevin, even if they are theoretically against it.
> Well, I'm a methodological individualist (i.e., social wholes exist
> only as patterned interactions between individuals--social cognition
> or "general will" exist only in a metaphorical sense).  But I wouldn't
> take it as far as Margaret Thatcher's Randroid bravado and say
> "there's no such thing as society."  Rather, I just think that
> whatever social good exists is the cumulative effect of individual
> acts of voluntary cooperation, and consensual relationships between
> individuals.
> I'm extremely skeptical about the ability of any representative
> organization, which is not both directly democratic and an entirely
> consensual/voluntary effort of those who choose to belong, to reflect
> any genuine kind of "common good" or "general welfare."  I believe
> very strongly that such organizations, in practice, come to serve the
> interests of those who control their day-to-day machinery.
> > The problem however is as Ryan states, what could be a 'transition'.
> >
> > I see two possibilities. One is the classic political struggle, which
> forces
> > the existing state to take into account new social demands; the other is
> > that we get better at replacing its current functions through different
> > means, and that some of it functions gradually 'die out'. I think that
> this
> > is what the p2p way is about, and how it differs from classical anarchism
> as
> > I understand it.
> This "getting better" at things, IMO, is key to the transition.  It's
> one of the dovetailing crisis tendencies that's making state
> capitalism non-viable.  It's at the root of your crisis of realization
> in the cognitive realm (p2p is so good that copyright is becoming
> unenforceable), and of Rushkoff's crisis of surplus capital.
> --
> Kevin Carson
> Center for a Stateless Society http://c4ss.org
> Mutualist Blog:  Free Market Anti-Capitalism
> http://mutualist.blogspot.com
> Studies in Mutualist Political Economy
> http://www.mutualist.org/id47.html
> Organization Theory:  A Libertarian Perspective
> http://mutualist.blogspot.com/2005/12/studies-in-anarchist-theory-of.html
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