Sunday, April 2, 2017

Appropriating the commons

Continuing this post, this topic is also being discussed at FB IPS in this thread. Someone asked how to prevent the tech necessary to implement a global commons from being misused by capitalism. I don't know that there is a way to prevent capitalism from hijacking the tech necessary for contemporary commoning. The article discussed how Uber and others have done so already. (Just search for Uber to find it.) The same paragraph also notes that legal and organizational forms in themselves cannot prevent such appropriation.

As the article notes, one cannot just look at those technological and economic forms in themselves as being the indicator of commoning or its corruption. To do so is typical of the modernist approach. It requires an integral, if you will, look at how values shape social practices using far more than economics: "anthropology, psychology, sociology, geography, and other 'soft,' humanistic sciences." The focus needs to be on the consciousness of the worldview that uses the tech, which in turn creates a form of economy consistent with it. 

The internet is a prime example. It is used by many different worldviews for many different reasons. While the internet is critical to a global commons movement it cannot, and should not, control it from being so used. Such control is exactly what neoliberal modernism is trying to do by eliminating net neutrality. So while net neutrality in necessary to developing the commons, it also allows all the wingnuts to spout their hatred. The commons has to educate people to discriminate the difference. And the article does in fact serve that purpose.

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