[p2p-research] The Non-Corporate Fortune 500

Michel Bauwens michelsub2004 at gmail.com
Sun Nov 29 07:17:40 CET 2009

> Is P2P a sort of neo-Fourierist movement in some ways?

Hi Paul, if a 'prehistory' of p2p movements would be written, my guess is
that indeed, a historical connection would be made to the civil socialism
that existed prior to the hold of social-democracy and Marxism over the
labour movement.

here's an item that makes the connection:

Bruno Theret, on the tradition of 'civil socialism'

The peer to peer movement differs from the traditional socialist movement in
that it does not rely on the state, but on autonomous developments within
civil society. Such a movement was prefigured by what Bruno Theret calls the
tradition of civil socialism. Very interesting French-language essay.

The essay by Bruno Theret is at

Theret also refers to three historical traditions necessary to develop these
ideas further: 1) the pre-marxist socialism of Pierre Leroux, very strong in
the revolutions of 1848; 2) the federal or guild socialism of Karl Polanly,
author of the landmark book The Great Transformation; 3) the contemporary
neo-communautarian theory of Michael Walzer.

(for the USA, see http://home.earthlink.net/~lrgoldner/afroanab.html)

Paul, there is also a second historical connection  I would like you to look
at, with the rich cosmobiological tradition of the Renaissance, defeated by
the same civil servants that came to dominate the labour movement, as argued
by Loren Goldern here in

In this context, even Marx can be rescued:

The Enlightenment, following the French revolution, has always had its
critics, such as  Burke, de Maistre, Chamberlain and other figures of te
19th century counter- revolution. . But there was another critique of the
Enlightenment afoot in Europe well before the French Revolution, the German
Sturm und Drang movement, which included figures of no less stature than
Herder and Goethe, and which prepared the way for another critique of the
Enlightenment,  romanticism. It is true that there are few romantics today,
and consequently few post-modernist nihilists waste any breath attacking
"the dialectic of romanticism". The proto-romantic Sturm und Drang, and the
romantic movement throughout Europe after 1800, added many elements to the
revolutionary tradition.   Winckelmann's study of Greek art founded a
Hellenophilism which was foreign to the Latin-Roman contours of the
Enlightenment in France, and pointed toward a vision of community in the
polis which inspired Hoelderlin (hardly an "Enlightenment" figure) and the
early Hegel, in pointed rejection of the statism of most of the French
Aufklärer. Out of the work of Herder (and the lesser-known Vico) came an
understanding foreign to the Enlightenment that social institutions do not
derive from abstract principles but are the factum, the  product of
history.  Marx studied the work of the conservative German historical school
of law,  in order to appropriate elements of its organicist critique of the
abstraction of the Enlightenment for the revolutionary movement. The
romantic philosophers Schelling and Fichte developed an idea that also
exists nowhere in the Enlightenment, except as adumbrated (at its end) by
Kant: that human activity constitutes reality through its praxis. G.F.W.
Hegel, who critiqued both the limits of Enlightenment and of romanticism,
pulled all these elements into a philosophy of history that was, as Herzen
said, the "algebra" of revolution. There would have been no "Theses on
Feuerbach" without these figures, and hence no Marx as we know him today.
What did the "Theses on Feuerbach" say? They said  "all previous
materialisms, including Feuerbach's, do not understand activity as
objective".   Marx here is explicitly referring to Enlightenment
materialists such as Hobbes, Mersenne, and Holbach, emphasizing the
importance of the "active side developed by idealism", by which he means
Schelling, Fichte and Hegel, none of whom can be considered "Enlightenment"
thinkers, even if they are also not "anti-Enlightenment" , in the same way
as figures such as Maistre, for whom the Enlightenment and then the French
Revolution were quite simply the eruption of the satanic in history.
     Another major distinction between the Enlightenment and Marx is the
attitude toward religion. This is particularly important since most Marxists
have tended to think that Marx's view is basically identical with that of
Voltaire: religion is "wrong", "false", l'infâme.  But Marx, coming after 50
years of the rich philosophical discussion of religion in German idealism
and then in his materialist predecessor Feuerbach, saw religion "as the
heart of a heartless world, the spirit of a world without spirit". Religion
for Marx was a prime case of what he called alienation, whereby  human
beings invert dreams of a better life into an other-worldly form. But a
Voltairean  would never have said, as Marx did, that "you cannot abolish
religion without realizing it". Simple Enlightenment atheism never asserted
there was anything to "realize", because such a view accords its (alienated)
truth to religion.
     History vs. abstract principles, polis community vs. statism, the
alienated human truth of religion vs. 18th-century atheism, , constitution
of the world by activity vs. a mere contemplative vision of reality as "out
there": all these key concepts were developed not by the Enlightenment but
by Sturm and Drang, and then romanticism and idealism, they  were all
fundamental for Marx.  A straight line from the Enlightenment to socialism
which does not exist, makes both  an easier target for the post-modernists
as a "master narrative" of "domination", resting on schoolboy notions of
"materialism" which derive from Newton's atomism.This telescoping of
Enlightenment and socialism is actually (and usually quite unintentionally)
reminiscent of Stalinism, which did not have much use for the
post-Enlightenment (not to mention pre-Enlightenment) sources of Marx (as
sketched above)either.1
     Enlightenment political thought moves, at its "commanding heights",
from  Hobbes and  Locke to Rousseau  and Kant. But it is exactly here that
the problems arise. The Enlightenment is not just, not even primarily, a
body of thought; it is that, but it is still more a social project and a
social practice that was, in the majority of cases, taken up and implemented
by state civil servants. This was not the case in England, where
Enlightenment thought of the 17th and 18th century, the work of Bacon,
Newton, Hobbes, Locke, Hooke, Boyle, Smith, Gibbon,   Hume and Paine
unfolded in a new civil society which had successfully freed itself from
absolutism by the revolutions of 1640 and 1688. Nor was this the case in
America, where Jefferson, Franklin, Paine and Madison were just as much at
the cutting edge, freeing America from colonial domination. But the
Enlightenment on the continent,  to a great extent as ideology and above all
as the  practice of Enlightened absolutism, was statist through and through,
from the philosophes and their dreams of benign Asian despots, to the
Jacobins, to the Prussian reformers of 1808. In France, Spain, Portugal, the
Italian states, Prussia, Sweden, Austria and Russia, (and  in the Iberian
and French colonies in the New World), the Enlightenment was the theory and
practice of  civil servants working for absolutist states. Voltaire at the
Prussian court of Frederick II or Diderot at the Russian court of Catherine
the Great are only the most memorable instances of the intertwining of the
philosophes and the Enlightened absolutisms of their time. Even Napoleon, in
a warped way, was spreading Enlightened statist reform through his conquest
of Europe.
     It may well be the case that the best of the thought of Voltaire and
Diderot was "in contradiction" with their idea of influencing powerful
monarchs to do the right thing.To point out the realities of their statism
is not to fall into a Foucaultian view of the Enlightenment as about nothing
but "power", nor is it to echo a Frankfurt School view of the Enlightenment
as  mere "domination".  One is quite right to reject these Nietzschean and
Weberian views of rationality. The problem of many contemporary defenders of
the Enlightenment is their failure to see that the bedrock foundation,  what
the Enlightenment itself accepted as its undisputed point of departure and
its model of the power of rational thought was Newton's physics. But
Newton's physics (which were, in their time,  undoubtedly revolutionary)
were not merely about physics, or nature: they stood for 150 years, and in
reality for 300 years, as the very model of what "science" was and ought to
be. For most figures of the Enlightenment (important exceptions are Diderot
and Rousseau) the rigor and exactness of mathematical physics stood as a
model for all realms of human endeavour, including the psyche and the arts.
Figures such as Condillac and Holbach spent decades trying to work out a
psychology (as Hobbes had earlier done with politics) based on the central
Newtonian concept of "force", and Condorcet dreamed of a "social
mathematics". LaMettrie went from "la nature machine" to "l'homme machine",
and this was generalized by LaPlace and LaGrange into "l'univers machine".
And, lest one get  the impression that these were mainly late Enlightenment
aberrations, one should recall the great impact of Euclid and Galileo on
Hobbes,  Voltaire's pamphleteering for Newton, or finally Kant's statement,
just about the time that Gauss was realizing otherwise, that Euclidean space
was the only possible space.
      These strong metaphors, and the program they inspired, generalized
from a powerful breakthrough in the dynamics of physical bodies in the new
abstract space and time, to the totality of science and culture, died out
very recently. Only a generation ago psychological behaviourism, which has
to be seen as a very degenerate heir of the late Enlightenment of Condillac,
LaMettrie and Holbach, still got a serious hearing in Anglo-American
universities, and Talcott Parsons in the 1940's boasted that he was "close
to splitting the sociological atom".
     Thus, while completely supporting their desire to do battle with the
post-modernists, one must ask today's Aufklärer:  what are you going to do
with the Enlightenment today? What conceivable intellectual, political and
social program is possible today built on the Enlightenment alone? (This is
a very separate question from its defense against those who deny its
once-radical edge.)
     Newton's physics were, once again, not merely a physics, (the latter
undoubtedly being of great power, a guiding research program for over 200
years), they were little less than an ontology, and they were unquestioned
by the Enlightenment. Few contemporary  defenders of the Enlightenment have
much to say about Newton's alchemy, astrology, Biblical commentary, history
(attempting to confirm the truth of Old Testament chronology),
anti-Trinitarian theology  or search for the Egyptian cubit, a body of work
which Newton himself placed on an equal footing with his physics and of
which, for him, his physics was only a part. (Interestingly, and
revealingly, the Frankfurt School and the Foucaultian critics of the
Enlightenment have little to say about them either.) Many of these pursuits
were already becoming unfashionable in Newton's own time, and Voltaire's
popularization of Newton on the continent after 1730 already passed them
over in total silence. But the discovery of this Newton is already enough to
show that he was not exactly, or certainly not only,  an "Enlightenment"
thinker. It is quite right to date the Enlightenment not from the 18th
century French philosophes but from 17th century English figures such as
Bacon.  But in rightly situating the question in the 17th century, the
typical defender of the Enlightenment  also steps  into the quagmire in
which received ideas about the Enlightenment and its origins disappear.
      Newtonian science, and hence the Enlightenment,  defeated the kind of
church-sponsored obscurantism represented by the trial of Galileo, or the
earlier trial and execution of Giordano Bruno.  But it also defeated what I
would call Renaissance- Reformation cosmobiology, as the latter is
associated with names such as Nicholas of Cusa, Bruno , Paracelsus, John
Dee, Robert Fludd, Boehme and above all Kepler. Elements of it persist as
late as Leibniz, co-inventor with Newton of the calculus, and who already
polemicized against Newton's mechanism. Newton, as sketched above, still had
much of the Renaissance magus about him. This cosmobiological world view
further found its cultural expression in figures such as Dürer, the
Brueghels, Bosch, Shakespeare and Rabelais, just as later Pope and Dryden
attempted to create a literature in keeping with Newtonian science. In this
transition,  an empty , atomistic space and time, based on an infinity
understood as mere repetition (the infinitesmal) deflated and expelled a
universe brimming with life, in which, further, human imagination was
central. One need only think of Paracelsus, the peripatetic alchemist,
astrologer, chemist, herbalist , tireless researcher and medical
practicioner who called the human imagination "the star in man" (astrum in
homine) and who placed it higher than the mere stars which preoccupied
astronomers. But no figure is more exemplary than Kepler, who looked for the
Platonic solids in the order of the solar system and who attempted to
demonstrate that the distance between the planets was in accordance with the
well-tempered tuning of the "music of the spheres". This was the world
view-- the cosmology-- which was deflated and replaced by Newton's
colorless, tasteless, odorless space and time, and the latter deflation
reached into every domain of culture for 300 years. And this cosmobiological
world view was an indisputable precursor of Marx's "sensuous transformative
praxis" (sinnliche unwälzende Tätigkeit) and hence of modern socialism. By
its notion of human participation of the constitutition of the world
(whereby it smacked of  heresy for the Church), it was closer to Marx than
any of the intervening Enlightenment views.
     Until quite recently, it was customary to acknowledge many of these
figures, and Paracelsus and Kepler in particular, as pioneers who
contributed to the transition "from alchemy to chemistry", "from astrology
to astronomy". But the Enlightenment vision of their advance was completely
linear, as if nothing of importance had been lost. But already a figure of
the stature of Leibniz, who himself made a major contribution to the new
science, argued in his polemics against Newton's publicist Clarke  that
something had been lost: life, not as the random result of a billiard ball
universe, but as a phenomenon central to the meaning of the universe, as it
had been for Paracelsus and Kepler.
     The Enlightenment did not shed light on this transition; on the
contrary, it was mainly  totally oblivious to it, when it was not actively
obscuring it.  The Enlightenment created the myth of the "dark ages" of
religion between Greco-Roman antiquity and the 17th century (one need only
think, by contrast,  of the brilliant culture, including the scientific
culture, of Islam). It saw a monolithic Christianity completely hostile to
science and thereby fashioned the modern (and modernist) myth that history
prior to Newtonian science was strictly a battle between "religion" and
"materialist atheism", the latter being exactly the kind of materialism
which Marx rejected in the "Theses on Feuerbach". (This is not to suggest
that Marx was not an atheist but merely to insist on the distinction,
developed earlier, between his critique of religion and Voltaire's.)
     In reality, while most of the figures of Renaissance-Reformation
cosmobiology were at least nominally Christian believers of one kind or
another (although in the case of Bruno, one wonders) their significance is
precisely that they represented a "third stream", an alternative to both the
dominant Aristotelian scholasticism propogated by the Church and to the
atomistic materialism that congealed in the Enlightenment. This "third
stream" was also often combatted, along with atheist materialism,  by the
Church as the highest heresy.2 And this "third stream" and its significance
were essentially hidden for three centuries by the Manichean portrait of the
past developed by the Enlightenment and taken over in the ideology of
     This "third stream", of which again Kepler is the culminating figure,
was hardly, as Enlightenment ideology portrayed it by assimilating it to
"religion", hostile to science or to scientific research. Indeed, Kepler's
work provided one part of the key to Newton's theory of universal
gravitation. The "third stream" was of course characterized by many
untenable a priori views such as the correspondance of the microcosm-man and
the macrocosm-universe, or by Kepler's own search for Platonic form, as in a
perfect Platonic circle in the orbit of the planets. Kepler passed over into
modern science by abandoning that form for the empirically-discovered
ellipse, but he got there by looking for it. The "third stream"  had little
or nothing to counter the successes of the Newtonian- atomist program, until
the latter had exhausted itself. Nevertheless, a history of the science
since Newton which has attempted to revive the "third stream", too complex
to concern us here, would include names of the stature of Baader,
Schelling, Oersted, Davy, Faraday, Goethe, W.R. Hamilton, Georg Cantor and
Joseph Needham, and the issues they raise are far from settled.
     It is significant that neither the pro-Enlightenment Habermasians  or
the anti-Enlightenment deconstructionists  and Foucaultians have much use
for Renaissance- Reformation cosmobiology, and the reason is that all of
them tacitly  accept the Enlightenment linear view of history and progress
as the sole possible kind of progress, in which the "third stream"
disappears into the "religion" of the "dark ages". There is an
unacknowledged agreement here between  opposing sides which makes possible a
recasting of the debate. This largely unspoken agreement accepts the
division of the world between culture and nature, (or Geist and Natur as the
Germans would say) and, however differently various figures may treat the
world of consciousness,  they  concede the world of nature to the
mechanists.  Such a division was only possible after Newton and the
ideological suppression of the cosmobiological "third stream", which,
whatever its flaws, presented a unitary vision of consciousness and nature.
The reaction to the implications, for consciousness, of the Enlightenment
program was quick in coming, and many took up Donne's lament of "all
coherence gone". But from Pascal to Rousseau to Hegel (for whom nature was
"boring", the world of repetition) to Nietzsche to Heidegger, all the
different formulations on the impossibility of treating human consciousness
on the model of mathematical physics (which is indeed impossible) took off
from the assumption of dead nature, in which "life" had to appear not as
Paracelsus' astrum in homine or Leibniz's vis vitae but as some "irrational"
"vitalistic" force.
     Nor should the reader get the impression that Renaissance- Reformation
cosmobiology did not have political implications, as atomism and mechanism
shaped the political thought of the Enlightenment.  Its first and major
political implication stems from the fact that it was decidely an ideology
of "interregnum", appearing between the collapse of the medieval Holy Roman
Empire and the consolidation of English capitalism and above all
continental absolutism, both of which eradicated it everywhere. In a
meaningful sense, the Renaissance and Reformation as a whole can be
understood as an interregnum phenomena, but many other currents within them
competed with what I call cosmobiology. These political implications were
not as well articulated  by its theoreticians as was the Enlightenment,
partly because the concept of the "political" (itself recognized by Marx as
an alienated separation) only autonomized itself later and partly because
these movements, unlike the Enlightenment, were primarily of the lower
classes, and thus were completely defeated, and their history mainly written
by the victors.  Their finest hours were the radical wing of the Reformation
(essentially, the Anabaptists and their leader Thomas Münzer) and the
radical wing of the English Revolution, the Levellers, Diggers and smaller
sects. (Gerard Winstanley stands out as a spokesman for this milieu.) One
only fully appreciates Newton's political meaning when one understands the
importance of his tirades against these "enthusiasts", as they were called.
Here it can be seen clearly that the English Enlightenment triumphed not
merely by defeating reactionary Stuart absolutism but also by defeating
radical currents to its left.
     When the interregnum was over, ca. 1650, the radical social base of the
"third stream" was socially and politically defeated, and the Enlightenment
could begin, with its  two contending models of English constitutional
monarchy and French absolutism, the latter becoming the model for most of
the continent. But  left defenders of the Enlightenment, pass over in
silence the fact that the Anglo-French Enlightenment triumphed over a
radical as well as a reactionary rival, and always bore the markings that
     Stated briefly, the spirit of Marx's underlying world view is more
truly the direct heir, the "realization" of the sensuousness of figures such
as Shakespeare, the Brueghels and  Paracelsus, than of any subsequent phase
of the Anglo-French Enlightenment and its aftermath.
     One might well ask what such a critique  of the Enlightenment, from the
vantage point of Renaissance-Reformation "cosmobiology" means today, in
political terms.
     What it means is this. From the French Revolution until the 1970's, the
dominant currents of the Western left, and the movements it influenced in
the colonial and post- colonial world, were indeed heirs of the
Enlightenment. They were this because, in practice if not always in
rhetoric, they inherited the tasks of  completing the bourgeois revolution,
tasks for which the Enlightenment, as the most advanced outlook of that
revolution, was eminently suitable. First Social Democracy,  from the 1860's
onward,  and then Stalinism, from the 1920's, took over a large part of the
Enlightenment attitudes toward science, the state, technology, heavy
industry, rationality, nature, a linear view of progress, philosophy and
religion. That view was at bottom atomistic and mechanistic, even when
dressed up as "dialectical materialism". Their statist development ideology
and strategy was most successful in countries where no liberal bourgeoisie
was strong enough to fight in its own name for the Enlightenment program
against pre-capitalist social relations. Social Democracy and later
Stalinism  took over the full weight of Enlightenment statism of the
continental variety. This was not surprising,  since they gained influence
mainly in the same backward countries in which Enlightenment statism had
been successful, for essentially the same reasons.  With the virtually
universal spread of state bureaucracy for the century up to ca. 1975,
whether in liberal democracy, Social Democracy, Stalinism or Third World
nationalism, this Enlightenment ideology was rooted practically in a vast
global stratum of middle-class state civil servants, whatever else they may
have disagreed about. Not accidentally, their theory of history, when they
felt they needed one,  was articulated by the state civil servants par
excellence Kant, Fichte and Hegel.
     The crisis of the Enlightenment today is the world-wide crisis of that
state civil service stratum, welfare-statist, Stalinist or Third Worldist,
and its inability after the mid- 1970's to continue to develop the
productive forces and to advance their Enlightenment program, something they
had done rather successfully in the previous century, particularly from 1945
to 1975.  The international  left is in crisis because it  uncritically took
over the Enlightenment, and thereby confused the tasks of the bourgeois
revolution with those of the socialist revolution;  the left's  claims to
fight for social emancipation got completely entwined with the state
bureaucracy and civil service, which are irreducible obstacles to full
social emancipation. There is nothing more to be done with the
Enlightenment, taken by itself, because there is no more bourgeois
revolution to make.  There is also nothing more to be done with the
Enlightenment view of nature, derived as it is from Newton's atomism and
mechanism. The Enlightenment grasped in a one-sided way the impact of the
natural environment on man but, lacking the idea of constitutive practice,
has little to say in an era such as our own, so shaped by the problems of
man's impact on the environment. This is not because, as the post-modernists
say, Western science and technology are nothing but "domination",  but
because the unique role of humanity in the biosphere, its "species-being" to
use Marx's term,  was articulated not by the Enlightenment but by the
"active side developed by idealism" as Marx put it in the "Theses on
Feuerbach". The Enlightenment looked to Nature to underpin its abstract
theories of Natural Man; it did not understand that human history constantly
creates "new natures", and hence new "human natures",  by its interraction
with the biosphere.
      The Foucaultian and Frankfurt School critics of the Enlightenment live
off the impoverishment of the left by its extended romance with a one-sided
appropriation of the  Enlightenment, by the left's century-long confusion of
the completion of the bourgeois revolution by state civil servants with
socialism,  and by the worldwide crackup of that project. The
pre-Enlightenment, Renaissance-Reformation cosmobiology which passed through
German idealism into Marx's species-being means even less to them than it
does to figures such as Habermas.  Yet the usual critique of them is
undermined by the tacit agreement across the board that "nature is boring",
i.e. the realm of mechanism, as Hegel, articulating the ultimate state civil
servant view, cut off from practice in nature, said. Both sides of this
debate still inhabit the separation of culture and nature, Geist and Natur,
which came into existence through the Enlightenment's deflation of
cosmobiology. It is the rehabilitation, in suitably contemporary form, of
the outlook  of Paracelsus and Kepler, not of Voltaire and Newton, which the
left requires today for a (necessarily simultaneous) regeneration of nature,
culture and society, out of Blake's fallen world of Urizen and what he
called "single vision and Newton's
On Sun, Nov 29, 2009 at 5:48 AM, Paul D. Fernhout <
pdfernhout at kurtz-fernhout.com> wrote:

> Ryan Lanham wrote:
>> One looks to an Age when money doesn't garner status.  That is a P2P tenet
>> I
>> should think.  Since the only worldview we have traditionally that holds a
>> similar view is socialism, or more properly, communism, there is a natural
>> bridge between P2P and socialism.  And since communism despises profit,
>> there is great antipathy toward that word in the P2P weltanschauung.
> Is there any country that calls itself "communist" that does not (for
> whatever reason) have an fairly authoritarian regime that restricts
> information flow?
> For example, Cuba could easily set itself up as a have for "Pirate Bay" and
> any other service that ignored copyrights, but it seems it won't because it
> restricts information flow and discussion by its people? From 2008:
> http://havanajournal.com/culture/entry/internet-access-in-cuba-maybe-in-2010/
> "Last week, the Cuban government announced that ordinary Cubans will not be
> allowed to have Internet access in the short term, even though the
> government authorised ordinary citizens to buy computers and own mobile
> phones on 1 April 2008."
> Or:
> "Cuba cutting Internet access"
> http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/nationworld/sfl-cuba-internet-cutoff-050709,0,4376220.story
> "In a move seen as aimed at anti-government bloggers, Cuba is further
> limiting access to the World Wide Web"
> Anyway, is this just a sad quirk of history? Or is it that it is impossible
> for a country not in the grip of a strong dictator to stand up to the USA
> and capitalism? But even then, why restrict information flow? Where are the
> democratic but communist states?
> Clearly there are many countries that call themselves democratic and
> "socialist" that have widespread internet access (like much of Europe
> perhaps). Although "socialist" is sort of a vague word at this point it
> seems (at least from the US point of view) that kind of means "we have a
> government we trust to manage some things well like health care, mass
> transit, and a social safety net". Even if technically it probably means
> more than that:
>  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialism
> """
> Socialism refers to various theories of economic organization advocating
> public or direct worker ownership and administration of the means of
> production and allocation of resources, and a society characterized by equal
> access to resources for all individuals with a method of compensation based
> on the amount of labor expended.[1][2][3]
>  Most socialists share the view that capitalism unfairly concentrates power
> and wealth among a small segment of society that controls capital and
> derives its wealth through exploitation, creates an unequal society, does
> not provide equal opportunities for everyone to maximise their
> potentialities[4] and does not utilise technology and resources to their
> maximum potential nor in the interests of the public.[5]
> """
> But it would seem that productivity now bears little relation to labor
> expended because of automation as well as the need to build on the work of
> others intellectually. So, what would one call it when:
> """
> XYZ? refers to various theories of economic organization advocating
> decentralized control of the means of production and allocation of
> resources, and a society characterized by mostly equal access to resources
> for all individuals with a method of compensation not very much based on the
> amount of labor expended.
> """
> ???
> Contrast with:
>  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communism
> """
> Communism is a socioeconomic structure and political ideology that promotes
> the establishment of an egalitarian, classless, stateless society based on
> common ownership and control of the means of production and property in
> general.[1][2][3] Karl Marx posited that communism would be the final stage
> in human society, which would be achieved through a proletarian revolution
> and only becoming possible only after a socialist stage develops the
> productive forces, leading to a superabundance of goods and services.[4][5]
>  "Pure communism" in the Marxian sense refers to a classless, stateless and
> oppression-free society where decisions on what to produce and what policies
> to pursue are made democratically, allowing every member of society to
> participate in the decision-making process in both the political and
> economic spheres of life. In modern usage, communism is often used to refer
> to Bolshevism or Marxism-Leninism and the policies of the various communist
> states which had government ownership of all the means of production and
> centrally planned economies. Communist regimes have historically been
> authoritarian, repressive, and coercive governments concerned primarily with
> preserving their own power.[3]
> ...
> Karl Marx never provided a detailed description as to how communism would
> function as an economic system, but it is understood that a communist
> economy would consist of common ownership of the means of production,
> culminating in the negation of the concept of private ownership of capital,
> which referred to the means of production in Marxian terminology.
> """
> But "the negation of the concept of private ownership of capital" really
> assumes "capital" is some big thing. If "capital" is a self-replicating 3D
> printer you have in your house, what does that mean?
> Could it be that the oppressive side of communism that has been tried is
> related to trying to do it with a relative resource scarcity in relation to
> a nation's material aspirations?
> But, in any case, other assumptions also break down if you assume people
> should mostly only do things because they are fun (like Charles Fourier
> suggested, or Bob Black).
> It seems to me there is some future ideology as yet to be defined, perhaps
> one that may look a lot more like Fourierism update for the 21st century
> (editing out some of the more extreme parts of his writings).
>  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Fourier
> """
> Fourier declared that concern and cooperation were the secrets of social
> success. He believed that a society that cooperated would see an immense
> improvement in their productivity levels. Workers would be recompensed for
> their labors according to their contribution. Fourier saw such cooperation
> occurring in communities he called "phalanxes," based around structures
> called Phalanstères or "grand hotels." These buildings were four level
> apartment complexes where the richest had the uppermost apartments and the
> poorest enjoyed a ground floor residence. Wealth was determined by one's
> job; jobs were assigned based on the interests and desires of the
> individual. There were incentives: jobs people might not enjoy doing would
> receive higher pay. ... Fourier characterized poverty (not inequality) as
> the principal cause of disorder in society, and he proposed to eradicate it
> by sufficiently high wages and by a "decent minimum" for those who were not
> able to work.[11] ... ourier was deeply disturbed by the disorder of his
> time and wanted to stabilize the course of events which surrounded him.
> Fourier saw his fellow human beings living in a world full of strife, chaos,
> and disorder.[15] Fourier is best remembered for his writings on a new world
> order based on unity of action and harmonious collaboration.[2] ... Walter
> Benjamin considered Fourier crucial enough to devote an entire "konvolut" of
> his massive, projected book on the Paris arcades, the Passagenwerk, to
> Fourier's thought and influence. He writes: "To have instituted play as the
> canon of a labor no longer rooted in exploitation is one of the great merits
> of Fourier," and notes that "Only in the summery middle of the nineteenth
> century, only under its sun, can one conceive of Fourier's fantasy
> materialized." ...
> """
> Joan Roelofs has suggested the best parts of Marx's theories were taken
> from Fourier.
> But even that assumes a world without a lot of automation... That would
> change the balance of all that.
> Is P2P a sort of neo-Fourierist movement in some ways? :-)
> --Paul Fernhout
> http://www.pdfernhout.net/
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Work: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dhurakij_Pundit_University - Research:
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