A note on evaluation processes for social phenomena with ambitious claims » Journal of Peer Production

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It is not a surprise that p2p theorists have not been able so far to produce a plausible vision of how a p2p society might perhaps one day deliver the cities, etc that other modes of production delivered so far, and that we wish to improve on. Producing such visions is a task too difficult for anyone or any group of humans – this is one important thing to learn from social sciences (equally from Marx, or Keynes, or neoclassical economics and political theorists): there are too many complexities involved to create such visions in theory. Only through practice can any such ambitious goals be envisioned theoretically.
Hence the need to stick with analysing existing p2p practices, and to recognize material conditions in which those practices exist – the above-mentioned total dependence on other dominant modes of production being the starting point.
Yes, you may rightly say, new starts its existence in the old. You may also say that there are new phenomena which are able to boot-strap themselves out of the old and create a new totality on their own. The problem is, nothing so far points in the direction of p2p being such a new phenomenon able to become an overall logic of organizing the entire society (mode of production, if you wish) – I’m speaking here as a p2p fan and as a former and occasional p2p practitioner who would gladly assess any evidence to the contrary.

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