Peer-to-peer production and the coming of the commons | Red Pepper

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Capitalism in its present form is facing limits, especially resource limits, and in spite of the rapid growth of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) economies, is undergoing a process of decomposition. The question is whether the new proto-mode can generate the institutional capacity and the alliances able to break the political power of the old order.

One way to describe the changes now taking place is as a shift away from a context in which the technological and economic advantage lies with economies of scale and mass production that depend on cheap global transportation and, thus, the continuous availability of fossil fuels. The move is to ‘economies of scope’, where bringing down the cost of common infrastructure for networked enterprises brings competitive advantages.

It is in achieving these economies of scope that the distributed, peer-to-peer forms of production made possible by new information and communication technologies can be deployed.

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