[-empyre-] OSW: open source writing in the network
dk at trick.ca
Fri Jan 13 22:10:20 EST 2012
On 13.01.2012 11:09, Simon Biggs wrote:
> I agree that something must be done and that open
> source and alternate models of production need to be part of any
> effective strategy of resistance - but I fear that this is what it
> will amount to, heroic but futile resistance to inevitable change.
The power of the corporations comes from the power of the state,
without the territorial monopoly on the legitimate use of violence
enforcing their rights, the corporations are paper tigers. Their
privilege to capture and control productive assets, and thereby
accumulate capital, comes from the state.
Without the state, there are no corporations. The entire concept of
"legal personhood" rests in the premise that there is a body of law that
defines personhood, and thus rests on the premise of the state.
It's not so much that globalisation is transferring power from the
state to the corporation, as that corporations are increasing their
power over the state. Meaning that power is (further and further)
concentrating in the hands of capital, the loser is not "the state,"
whose role has always been to mediate among the classes on behalf of the
ruling class, the loser is labour, or in other words: people.
If we can apply ideas from open source and peer to peer networks to new
forms of production the state's power vanishes, and that of the
corporations with it. A borderless, peer to peer world is not one that
is friendly to the rentier.
However, in order to achieve such a world, we fist need to create
alternative forms of provisioning the public goods that the state
currently provides, because the complexity and size of our society can
no longer survive without them, and we also must create alternative
means for forming the productive capital the corporations currently
provide, because maintaining the scale of our productive capacity
demands it. And that is perhaps the part that is most difficult to
grasp: The Scale.
We can't confuse token or fringe alternatives to be the embodiment of
that change, only as potential models that prefigure it, we need to ask
ourselves how we can transform the whole, not just escape into a
self-satisfied subculture, content with our own perceived "innocence"
And yet, it is such self-congratulatory innocence from complicity is
what is most often presented as a solution in our community.
To be continued in my responses to Adam and Tiziana.
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