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D Dino on toot.cat

by D DinoD Dino(Toot.Cat)
marshalling resources means making sure your friend hosting that nextcloud instance can eat all month. capital marshals resources with the poverty gun: obey or be fired, if you can get in the door at all. volunteer infrastructure is an alternative but we’ve still got rent and that remains an issue. i think we can subvert capital using software but that’s not the fix either. organizations matter here. logistics matters here. i dream of social infrastructure.
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Bob Mottram on soc.freedombone.net

by Bob Mottram
@blankideogram @jbond I think it's useful to support people like Corbyn when he's calling for re-nationalization of the railways, but I think nationalization isn't enough. It's just a first step. There needs to be a commons model where people have a real stake in the services which they're running. Something like running them as coops. State capitalism has the same kinds of failure modes as private ownership by corporations. We need to make systems public in a way where they can't easily be enclosed and sold off later on. A bit like the fediverse. People could sell off instances, but it would be hard for anyone to sell off the fediverse as a whole because it's "owned" by so many different people.

Interesting to see the links (perhaps only nominal…) between #Ostrom’s social-ecological systems and #Bookchin’s social ecology.

Bookchin says that environmental degradation is rooted firmly in patterns of society such as hierarchy and domination. Ostrom with SES says that in making environmental policy, we can only do so by taking into account how it will affect groups in society.

Both recognition that ecological problems can’t be resolved without studying social structure. #readinggroup

On cornucopianism vs the Jevons paradox and the Khazzoom-Brookes postulate (love these names) – I’m not a techno-optimist, in the sense of thinking that technology will provide limitless efficiencies and allow for limitless growth, but I am optimistic that given the right societal structure it can be harnessed to bring about abundance.

The Earth was made a common treasury for all!

I grew up in Wigan, and sadly this part of its history was lost on me at the time.  Good to rediscover it.

The Diggers were a group of Protestant radicals in England, sometimes seen as forerunners of modern anarchism, and also associated with agrarian socialism and Georgism. — Wikipedia

Harnessing Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies to empower co-operatives

Wednesday, Feb 21, 2018, 6:30 PM

Space4
149 Fonthill Rd, 1st Floor, N4 3HF London, GB

75 Members Attending

• What we'll do During this event we will be discussing the potential of cryptocurrencies and Blockchain to benefit the co-operative movement and social causes, and help us move away from an exploitative economic system. We will have presentations from: Jaya Klara Brekke speaks, writes and does research on authority and power in decentralised syste...

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Chapter 2: The Commons: From Tragedy to Triumph

The chapter starts by outlining Garret Hardin’s tragedy of the commons argument.  In short, my understanding of the argument is that due to the inherent selfishness of individuals the commons are doomed to overuse — unless they are turned into private property, or turned over to the state, and unless the users of a resource are regulated through coercion. Hardin’s paper is more generally about population limits and his views appear quite bluntly Malthusian.

Having seen functioning commons, Ostrom disagreed with Hardin’s analysis.  She studied commons that worked (and also those that didn’t), and captured her analysis of what made a commons sustainable in her work “Governing the Commons.”

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This chapter starts out with a brief biography of Ostrom and her work, providing some context. I think it’s the right amount – the ideas are more important, but it is interesting to get some biographical context. The patriarchal system she faced early on is pretty galling – difficulties in getting where she got to, just by virtue of being a woman.

Ostrom doesn’t slot into a particular predefined school of thought, with some ties to some conservative right thinkers, yet some radical views. I like that Wall approaches it not so much trying to pin her ideas down to any particular ideology, but looking at what practical effects the ideas have had (and can have).

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"The current market for electronic products depends on planned obsolescence: old products quickly become outdated and unfashionable. But extending the life of our electronic devices helps to address the e-waste problem. Project Cybersyn showed that it is possible to create a cutting-edge system using technologies that are not state-of-the-art. It demonstrates that the future can be tied to the technological past."
-- The Cybersyn Revolution (jacobinmag.com)

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Next, the Internet: Building a Cooperative Digital Space

by Nathan Schneider(The Internet of Ownership)
Cooperatives brought electricity to rural America when no one else would, and they’ve given Main Street a fighting chance against the big boxes. They help millions buy homes. They pioneered the local, organic revival and the means of delivering fair-trade products from across the planet. Next, the internet. We have done this already, and we can do it again, even better than before.

Really nice article by @ntnsndr on the possibilities of coops in the digital space (and what they’re already achieving).  Quality rather than unnecessary growth; data privacy; federation rather than centralization; harnessing ideas like blockchain for trust; and funding new ventures through cooperative means. Exciting times. (h/t @Matt_Noyes)

I find Project Cybersyn fascinating as a piece of history of how one country tried to use advanced technology to solve the problem of socialist central planning.

Are there any good histories (or thought experiments) of the advanced use of technology for more anarchist, less hierarchical (non-market, non-state) organisation?

Also on:
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Jeremy Corbyn pledges rebirth of 'municipal socialism' in the UK

(The Guardian)
Labour leader urges councils to reverse privatisation of public services while defending party’s intervention in Haringey

Interesting to see a reference to “municipal” socialism from JC. Also interesting to see the top-level intervention when a local authority is doing something dodgy. I agree with the sentiment of the intervention but how municipalist is it?