Researcher Evangelos Papadimitropoulos just published a cool article that sums up and puts into perspective some of the emerging schools of thought on commons-based peer production (cbpp). Fresh hot off the (virtual) press, it also presents a pretty comprehensive and up-to-date list of references. I recommend the article to everyone interested in getting beyond the basics of commons-based peer production and discovering some of the different „currents“ of the emerging field of research and activism of cbpp.
I quote below some of my main take aways, for more, check the article itself: „Commons-Based Peer Production in the Work of Yochai Benkler“, published in the online journal „tripleC: Communication, Capitalism & Critique. Open Access Journal for a Global Sustainable Information Society“.
Some interesting quotes:
„Not only is there a tension between material rewards and pro-social motivations, but also between
diverse pro-social motivations themselves. Individuals are driven by motivations that differ from each other in mixing motivational drivers. Peer production therefore faces a critical design challenge for balancing out motivations that has not yet been addressed by commons-based peer production. Monetary motivations still prevail by necessity. The need for most parts of society to pay the bills and make a living in a capitalist economy usually overtakes non-monetary pro-social motivations.“
„… peer production will not always be successful or superior to markets and firms. The big issue is whether peer production results in an organised chaos better corresponding to the variability of human capacities, or in a disorganised chaos rendering firms and managerial hierarchies indispensable for resource allocation and social cohesion, and which conditions contribute to either outcome.“
„The big issue is, however, how to create the common wealth necessary for the multiplication of the commons given the high dependence of the commons on the state and capital.“
„Some of the big challenges lying ahead in commons-based peer production are questions of how to tackle issues of concentration of power and conflict; how to reconcile individuality and pluralism with community and unity; how to combine hierarchy and competition with self-management and co-operation; how to untangle the interweaving of meanings and practices across diverse social imaginaries; how to coordinate dispersed, peer-to-peer initiatives; and how to relate to established social systems and power relations in the market, the state and civil society at large.“
The article from which I quote, has been published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Austria License.