Michel Bauwens: Are We Shifting to a New Post-Capitalist Value Regime?

May 24th, 2016

Every 500 years or so, European civilization and now world civilization, has been rocked by fundamental shifts in its value regime, in which the rules of the game for acquiring wealth and livelihoods have dramatically changed. Following Benkler’s seminal Wealth of Networks, which first identifies peer production, the P2P Foundation has collated a vast amount of empirical evidence of newly emerging value practices, which exist in a uneasy relationship with the dominant political economy, and of which some authors claim, like Jeremy Rifkin and Paul Mason, that it augurs a fundamental shift. What would be the conditions for this new regime to become autonomous and even dominant, and what are the signs of it happening? As context, we will be using the Tribes, Institutions, Markets, Networks framework of David Ronfeldt, the Relational Grammar of Alan Page Fiske, and the evolution of modes of exchange as described by Kojin Karatini in The Structure of World History. We will argue that there is consistent evidence that the structural crises of the dominant political economy is leading to responses that are prefigurative of a new value regime, of which the seed forms can be clearly discerned.

About Michel

Michel Bauwens is the founder and director of the P2P Foundation and works in collaboration with a global group of researchers in the exploration of peer production, governance, and property. Bauwens travels extensively giving workshops and lectures on P2P and the Commons as emergent paradigms and the opportunities they present to move towards a post-capitalist world.

In the first semester of 2014, Bauwens was research director of the floksociety.org which produced the first integrated Commons Transition Plan for the government of Ecuador, in order to create policies for a ‘social knowledge economy’.

In January 2015 CommonsTransition.org was launched. Commons Transition builds on the work of the FLOK Society and features newly revised and updated, non-region specific versions of these policy documents. Commons Transition aims toward a society of the Commons that would enable a more egalitarian, just, and environmentally stable world.

He is a founding member of the Commons Strategies Group, with Silke Helfrich and David Bollier, who have organised major global conferences on the commons and economics. http://commonsandeconomics.org

His recent book ‘Save the world – Towards a Post Capitalist Society with P2P’ is based on a series of interviews with Jean Lievens, originally published in Dutch in 2014 it has since been translated and published in French with an English language publication expected in the near future http://www.samkinsley.com/2015/03/31/to-save-the-world-preface-by-bernard-stiegler-for-michel-bauwens-new-book/

In more academic work Michel co-authored with Vasilis Kostakis ‘Network Society and Future Scenarios for a Collaborative Economy’ published by Palgrave Pivot in 2014. http://p2pfoundation.net/Network_Society_and_Future_Scenarios_for_a_Collaborative_Economy

He has also writen for Al Jazeera and Open Democracy. He is listed at #82, on the Post Growth Institute (En)Rich list. http://enrichlist.org/the-list/

Michel currently lives in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

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