Michael Bauwens, P2P – good ideas about economics…


Richard Moore

Bcc: FYI
rkm websitehttp://cyberjournal.org

Category:P2P Market Approaches




  • Michel Bauwens:
  1. The basic orientation of p2p theory towards societal reform: transforming civil society, the private and the state
  2. To the Finland Station: the political approach of P2P Theory

Characteristics of Alternative Economies

Proposed by Marvin Brown [1]:

  • They are more concrete and local than our current global financial economy.
  • They are more specific about wealth than the abstract measurement of GDP or even the accumulation of assets.
  • They focus more on the provisions of everyday life, such as food, housing, clothing, health, and entertainment instead of stocks and bonds.
  • They rely more on relationships of trust than the self-interest of disconnected individuals.
  • They are more contextual than most traditional economic thought.
  • They include people and the planet in their vision instead of focusing only on profit maximization.
  • They recognize the limits of growth.
  • They elicit the participation of all instead of only property owners.
  • They see themselves as belonging to the earth rather than the earth belonging to them.
  • They are part of the future, if we are to have one.


David Graeber on Free Market Populism

“There have, certainly, been times and places when a kind of free market populism has emerged, where markets began operating independently of governments, at least to some degree – Medieval Islam is one famous example, and later, Ming China—but in such cases, they tended to operate in very different ways than the kind of markets we’re now familiar with, less about competition, much more about creating and maintaining relations of interpersonal trust, or for instance, profit-sharing operations instead of interest, etc etc.”
– David Graeber [2]

David Graeber on Markets and States

“This is a great trap of the twentieth century: on one side is the logic of the market, where we like to imagine we all start out as individuals who don’t owe each other anything. On the other is the logic of the state, where we all begin with a debt we can never truly pay. We are constantly told that they are opposites, and that between them they contain the only real human possibilities. But it’s a false dichotomy. States created markets. Markets require states. Neither could continue without the other, at least, in anything like the forms we would recognize today.” (http://p2pfoundation.net/First_Five_Thousand_Years_of_Debt)

Marvin Brown on why we need Civic Design for Civilizing the Economy

“When people say, ”We have seen the problem and the problem is us,” they deceive themselves. We are not the problem. The problem is one of design. Our current design of how we live together in unjust and unsustainable, and it is still controlled by commercial conversations without any moral foundation. Those who control financial markets are sovereign. If we expand and protect civic conversations we may, in time, participate in the solution—an economy based on civic norms making provisions for this and future generations.” (http://www.civilizingtheeconomy.com/2011/12/what-is-a-citizen-and-the-civic/)

Key Resources

Key Articles

  • Can We Liberate the Market through Commons Governance? By Wouter Tebbens. [3] : “In the Barcelona-based Escola dels Commons we study the commons and right now we are discussing about the market, how current markets work and how they could work, if redefined under commons logic.”

Key Books

Pages in category “P2P Market Approaches”

The following 147 pages are in this category, out of 147 total.

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