Peer to Peer: A Commons Manifesto
by Michel Bauwens, Vasilis Kostakis, Alex Pazaitis
Posted December 4, 2019
As capitalism faces a series of structural crises, a new social, political and economic dynamic is emerging: peer to peer (P2P). What is peer to peer? Why is it essential for building a commons-centric future? How could this happen?
P2P is considered to be both a social relation and a mode of allocation, as a socio-technological infrastructure and as a mode of production, and all these aspects when combined contribute to the creation of a new post-capitalist model, a new phase in the evolution of the organization of human societies. This will necessitate a discussion about economic and political transitions. At the microeconomic level of commons-based peer production, P2P dynamics are already creating the institutional seedlings prefiguring a new social model.
P2P could lead to a model where civil society becomes productive through the participation of citizens in the collaborative creation of value through commons. In this pluralistic commonwealth, multiple forms of value creation and distribution will co-exist, but most likely around the universal attractor that is the commons. We do not argue for a “totalitarianism” of the commons, but to make the commons a core institution that “guides” all other social forms — including the state and the market — towards achieving the greatest common good and the maximum autonomy. More…