Sat 29 Apr 2017 7:28AM

How to drive the commons into the mainstream.

SC Simon Carter Public Seen by 122

I was chatting to someone recently who described himself as a communist, but he sounded to me like an anarchist, Both words are of course politically loaded, but if you combine them do you get commonist? J Edgar Hoover apparently said this: "Senator, I think that commonism is as serious a menace to the United States as it ever was if not more so.". Do we have one word that would describe our advocacy?. Might that word me commonist?. It's not one I have seen widely used, but it occurs to me that more & more people describing themselves as such might be a good way to raise the conversation. I suspect many would say, 'don't you mean communist'?. A cogent explanation of the differences might create a movement free from the baggage associated with such terms as communist or anarchist. I also think it might blindside the Establishment at a time when their propaganda is increasingly seen for what it is..


Simon Grant Sun 30 Apr 2017 4:45AM

The issues you raise, Simon, are important to me, but not simple.

I would say that we need to be building alternatives, much more than "presenting" them. To me, it is too slow to wait until other people catch on, until the ideas become "mainstream". As I said, I only believe they will become mainstream when really ugly things start to happen.

This is also why I (and many people I know) are not so concerned with what currently passes as politics. It's really hard to get a "party line" that measures up to the complexity of people, as well as the planet. To me, party politics belongs mostly to a moribund order. Not that I don't vote -- I still do. But I vote in the belief that voting is unlikely to be the major factor in the changes to come. Similarly with "-isms". Parties and -isms fit well together, but neither with me.

I'd be interested in your reaction to Gene Youngblood's ideas. There are links from the page on him on the P2P Foundation Wiki. https://wiki.p2pfoundation.net/Gene_Youngblood

You say

We need to differentiate ourselves as a distinct third way, not state controlled centralised hierarchies & not predatory markets.

Differentiation in action, not just in words, I would say. We need, primarily in my opinion, to do things differently, not just to talk differently. And when we talk, it needs to be radical talk. It needs to examine and question the roots.


Paul B. Hartzog Wed 3 May 2017 2:19PM

I agree that we need to bring awareness to p2p as a "third way" but I am still surprised daily by the number of people who insist that collective organization has to go through government or business. 1) We are conditioned to think that those are the only routes to success, and 2) we are still facing off against powerful systems that want it to stay that way.


Simon Carter Wed 3 May 2017 3:42PM

How will the 'third way' develop except through a re-evaluation & evolution of government &/or commerce?. Is it not a fact that the 'third way' is simply a realisation that both have become horribly predatory such that their negatives far out way their positives?. From a personal perspective, I can change how i do business, both as a businessman & a consumer. I have little expectation of any major re-evaluation of how we do government any time soon. As such, I put more faith in business as our way forward. The only other 'third way' I see as likely is revolution.


Danyl Strype Sun 28 May 2017 12:07PM

"We are conditioned to think that those [government and business] are the only routes to success"

I would go further, we are conditioned to think they are the only possible kinds of human organisation larger than the family and the village/ tribe. Graeber talks about how this myth serves the status quo in 'The Democracy Project'.

We are also conditioned to think that government and business are in opposition, as opposed to being the left hand and right hand of the very same corporatist system. This works very well for dividing resistance into blue team vs/ green team conflict which keeps both sides distracted from the real inter-relationships of the power structures and their consequences.


Nicolas Stampf Mon 29 May 2017 7:06AM

I am not convinced (anymore maybe) that businesses or the governments are the only solutions. In a system, the ones who pushes harder create a space to live in. Pushing too hard and you get ejected, too soft and nothing moves.
I'm a strong believer of creating one's own playfield and show (by changing oneself in that playfield) what works. Then let others get inspired by what they see and spread your ideas and if they were theirs.

We do have more room than we use to think. Just try and see what happens.


Lisa Thornton Fri 26 May 2017 8:09AM

I like calling our whole movement 'localisation'. It's the opposite of globalisation, which the majority of people don't support. Therefore, you've won the people over, already. It's important how the message and wording is framed. Localisation is strong and positive. Then you make commons a central component of localisation. Sold! :smiley:


Simon Grant Fri 26 May 2017 8:17AM

And if we add "re-" to make it re-localisation, it reminds people if the truth that things were local. It's not a new and scary place to be, obviously, but also it can remind us of the challenges that existed in the past, localised, world. Equally, let's hold on to the idea that what is light can well be global.


miguel novik Mon 29 May 2017 8:22PM

..¨This works very well for dividing resistance into blue team vs/ green team conflict which keeps both sides distracted from the real inter-relationships of the power structures and their consequences..¨
I couldn´t be more agree with this sentence.
Many times when giving opinions without understanding the proposals previously exposed, we generate a dynamic and feeling that ¨you are green and I am blue ¨...

Even I can not easily imagine a future without exchange (each one give a contribution to society or its community and obtains products / services from it), it does not really means that I want to defend this position ....

Please let me know the current project that would drive us more closer to ¨the future vision you want to live in¨. (This way I hope I will understand your future vision).

And also I would really appreciate if anyone could let me know what current projects would drive us to ¨think global and produce local¨ and ¨Commons-based peer production¨.

thanks a lot for the help.


miguel novik Mon 29 May 2017 9:40PM

Enspiral, Sensorica and Farm Hack, even I can see the value of these experiences in themselves, I can not see how I (or the cooperative I belong to) could connect with them, or be part of them and ¨ increase the ball¨....
maybe is there someone here that could explain why and how exactly these experiences will drive us to ¨think global and produce local¨ and ¨Commons-based peer production¨ as far as we develop thousands of these organizations all over the world ......


Danyl Strype Tue 30 May 2017 1:00AM

BTW unless they are anarcho-capitalists (note Graeber's comment that these only seem to exist online) or left-libertarians, all anarchists are communists, just not "authoritarian" or "state" communists.

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