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P. 1
Occupy the Commons

Occupy the Commons

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Published by P2P Foundation
Occupy the Commons

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http://www.quinternalab.org/teleriunioni/aprile-2014/287-occupy-the-commons
Occupy the Commons

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http://www.quinternalab.org/teleriunioni/aprile-2014/287-occupy-the-commons

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Published by: P2P Foundation on Apr 28, 2014
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07/06/2014

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Occupy the commons
N+1 QuinternaLab, April 5, 2014 (*)
Minutes from the conference call of April 1, 2014
DuringtheconferencecallonTuesdayevening,inwhich18comradestookpart,theydiscussedaboutthe issueofcommons.InhisspeechtotheprotestersinZuccottiPark,October9,2011Slavoj
 Ž
i
ž
eksaid:"
The
 
onlywaywhereinwearecommunistsisthatwecareforthecommons,thecommonsofnature,the commonsofknowledgethatareprivatizedbytheintellectualpropertyrights,thecommonso biogenetic,forthisandonlyforthisweshouldfight.Communismabsolutelyfailed,buttheproblemsof  thecommonsarehere.AccordingtotheSlovenianphilosopherdefenseofthecommons,afterthe collapse of communism, is the only viable horizon of struggle” 
.Thetopichasbeenmuchdebatedinrecenttimes.Sociologists,intellectualsandpoliticians,inanattemptto bringtheanti-capitalistrequestsintotheinstitutionalpaths,writebooks,organizeconferencesand,in somecases,giverisetounspecifiedconstituents.EventheCatholicChurchdealtaboutthatinoneofthe ConstitutionsresultingfromtheSecondVaticanCouncilandproposedthefollowingdefinition:"
Fromthe
 
moreandmoretightandlittlebylittleinterdependence,extendedtotheentireworld,descendsthatthe commongood-thatis,thesetofthoseofsocialconditionswhichallowasgroupsasindividuals,toreach theirperfectionmorefullyandmoreeasily-nowbecomesmoreandmoreuniversal,involvingrightsan duties that affect the entire human race " 
(from
Gaudium et Spes
).InItaly,thecommonsbecamepopularwiththereferendummovementforthewaterascommongood. Someintellectualsproposedtheestablishmentof"freezones"sothatcertaingoodsareconsideredtobe  non-tradable.StefanoRodotà(anItalianpolitician)presentedtotheSenateabillforthereclassificationof   commonsonthebasisofeconomicandsocialnature.Theconceptisactuallyquiteunclearandcouldbe applied to everything from the water environment, from the transport to the job.AccordingtoWikipedia:"
Commongoodsorcommonresources(commons)aregoodsusedbymultiple
 
individuals,comparedtowhichweobserve-fordifferentreasons-difficultyofexclusionandwhose consumptionbyastakeholderreducesthechancesoffruitionbyotherones:theyaregenerall resourceslackingrestrictionsonaccessandessentialtothehumansurvivaland/orsubjecttogrowthwith theuse
.TheAmericanOWSmovementhasamongitsprogrammatictrendsastrongattractiontothe problemofthecommons.Theitaliancommunistmagazine"n+1"publishedseveralpamphletsonthe  subject,identifyingitselfnotonlywiththemovement,butendorsingahorizonthatwecaneasilydefine 
Occupy the commons
.Weareobviouslyfarfromeachsingleformulationthatarisesfromthemagmaticmovement,butthesetis 
 
clearlydeterminedbytheextremecontradictionofcapitalism,andthatisthefatalantithesisbetween socialproductionandprivateappropriation.Whiletheevolutionofourspeciesisnowmore"external"than  "biologic"(Leroi-Gourhan)andthenthesocialorganismwithitstechnique,organization,etc..isprevailson theindividualone,theexemplified1%gobblesupeverythingandstarvestheworld.Thatcomplementary  99%,farfrombeingapublicitystunt,it'samemethatwassuccessfulpreciselybecausethe"absolutelaw ofCapital"neverworkedsoatthebottom:themovement"wasintheair,"readytoproduceiconography, liturgy, and (unfortunately) theory.Thecommons’topichasalottodowiththeampleworldofpeertopeer(P2P)networks.MichaelBauwens, inthearticleFromtheCommunismofcapitaltoaCapitalfortheCommons”,highlightstheparadoxthat,  thankstothemostcommunistofthesharinglicenses,theGeneralPublicLicense,multinationalsusefree softwaretocapitalistpurposes(shiningexamplesareIBMandLinux).Ontheonehandthereisthe requirementthatanyonecanuse,modifyandsharethesourcecodeoffreesoftware,andthisistechnically communism:fromeachaccordingtohisability,toeachaccordingtohisneeds.Ontheotherhandalso capitalistoperatorsexploitthesystemtoderiveprofitfortheirownexclusivebenefit.Inthisway,the accumulationofintangiblecommons,bornfromaparticipantprocessandorientedtothesharingofthem,is subsumedbytheprocessofaccumulationofCapital.ForthisreasonBauwensproposes,toeliminatethe paradox,theestablishmentofPeerProductionLicense.ThePPLisdesignedtoactivateandstrengthenthe mutual"anti-hegemonic"economy,whichcombinesthecooperativenoprofitorganizationswhileprovides forthechargingofafeeforthe“forprofitcompanies,whichusethesoftwarewithoutcontributingtothe developmentoftheshare.Theadoptionofthistypeoflicensewouldfacilitatethegrowthofa"counter- economy”, the one of the commons, which could be the basis of a political and social transformation.Obviously,theproposedsolutiondoesnotsolvetheproblemoftheexploitationofthecommonsby Capital,indeedthecategoriesthatitwantstodeny-surplusvalue,money,exchange,etc.-wouldinstead bereproduced.Bauwens,however,cannothelpbutnoticetheincreasinglyapparentcontradiction betweenprivateappropriationandassociatedlabor,theshellchokingacontentthatnolongermatches with it.Let’stakeasexampletheworldoftheappsandthetransformationsthatpassedintheworldofonline servicesrelatedtocertainproducts.Inthearticle
2014:YearOfTheOpenEcosystem
thereisalittlehistory onthedisruptivepoweroftechnologyanditsinnovations.Nowadays,withthedevelopmentoftheapp economyandthepredominanceoftheservicesupply(continuous)oncommodities(discrete),themajor brandsareturningintolargeplatforms,basedlessonthecharacteristicsoftheirproductsandmoreonthe extentandthequalityoftheirconnections.Bymakingavailable,inaprocessofopennessandfeedback withtheenvironment,developmentkitsorAPItotakeadvantageofexternalcollaboration,Apple,Intuit  andKareo,forexample,havethousandsofdevelopersworkingtoimproveourproductsanddonotcosta penny to the companies.Morethanjustplatformstheyseemratherecosystems.Andtheinterestingthingisthattheyarenot isolatedbutinterconnectedtoturnintoalargerecosystem,whereiscriticaltheintegrationofthe knowledgethatdevelopsoutsidethecorporationwalls.Capitalismfirstlygeneratesandthentriestoadapt itself precisely to those mechanisms that represent its negation.Thearticlearguesthattheimportantinnovationsarethosethatchangetheworldsodeeplythatthe previousorderbecomesuntenable.Yetthetrueimpactdoesnotbeginwiththeinvention,butwiththe adoptionofit:thecarwasimportantnotsomuchbecauseitreplacedthehorse,butbecauseitcreated roads,servicestationsandshoppingmalls.Thesamethinghappenswithsmartphonesandrelatedapps. Example:Wazeisafreeappforroadnavigationformobiledevicesbasedoncrowdsourcing.Themore 

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