Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Michel Bauwens and the New Socioeconomic Alternatives

Michel Bauwens is opening a discursive path which, in my judgement, prepares new consensuses and tools broad social and ideological sectors fit into. It would be a mistake to see it as something “passing” or as a mere ideological expression. It’s still in an early state, but it’s quite possible that, in the near future, it may bring together or constitute broad opinion trends.

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We’ve known Michel Bauwens, and followed his work, for years. With the P2P Foundation, he has built a practically global connector of movements linked to the commons and the perspective of a P2P mode of production, which makes his own synthesis especially interesting, since there can hardly be anyone more up to date on how the different community tendencies around world are maturing, and having been the first to propose a role for the State in the transition towards a P2P mode of production with his theory of the “partner state,” which he has developed over the years, and also being one of the first to recognize the potential role of phyles in the creation of spaces of transnational well-being.

At the end of 2012, he surprised us all by writing, in his Al-Jazeera column, that he saw space for, and in fact, the foundation was being laid for, a grand alliance around the defense of common goods and the immaterial commons. This alliance includes the Pirate Parties, the Greens, worker and social justice movements, and the Social Liberal parties. The idea was then extended to Syriza in Greece and Melenchon in France. This “Alliance of the Commons" would be complemented, through the same foundation, by the creation of a global phyle and “Chamber of the Commons.”

Interesting? Very much so, obviously. But even more interesting to us is the analysis of the big picture in which he bases his proposals. Continue readnin...

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