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Context - Platforms in a pluriverse

One important (post-Fordist) way to approach commoning is through platform cooperativism (Pattern ¿344). A pattern language for commoning certainly needs to have such patterns in landscape §2. However, practices of #platforming, #cooperation (in the sense of the international cooperative movement) and #FLOSS free open code-hacking turn out to have a number of political-cultural threads, whose perspectives on commons/commoning are not identical. This is a cultural pluriverse, not a singular (modernist) universe. As if! Modernism is SO yesterday.

On the notion of economic and cultural life in a #pluriverse: see David Bollier, interviewed by Antonis Brumas & Yavor Tarinsky (2017) The future is a pluriverse.  The terms arises with Arturo Escobar (2015), ‘Commons in the pluriverse’, in Bollier & Helfrich eds (2015), Patterns of commoning, Heinrich Bōll Foundation.

Half a dozen politicised modes of commoning

Here’s a libertarian socialist addressing a pluriverse:

  • Many co-existing forms of commoning, in a world of profuse and inescapable difference/diversity; also, of abundance - cultural, especially digital abundance -not scarcity.

  • Seeing commoning as a material relation that communities and resources stand in - a system of alternative (non-capitalist, liberating) RoPs in the material sphere #materialecon §1 . . prefiguratively constituting a mode of production which may evolutionarily supplant the capitalist mode.

  • Seeing commoning, also, as requiring radical modes of knowing (an altered ‘dance of knowing’) organised under alternative (distributed) RoPs in the sphere of knowing #capabilityecon §2. This is another, critical, dimension of class recomposition: a globalised recomposition of #labourpower.

  • In the sphere of the heart #moralecon #emotionaleconomy - the wellspring of action (both wise and unwise) - commoning (and especially, multiple co-existing, differing commons) requires #transverse orientation . . an altered system of RoPs in the production of the heart-mind §3, of motivation and affiliation: open to true and inescapable diversity, to mutuality across difference, to the non-#Othering of different others.

The table below sketches half a dozen emergent modes of participation in digital platform-commons, each associated with a particular political-cultural mode . . anarchist (free-libre), socialist associationist-cooperative, municipalist, consumerist, libertarian legal protocol; chaotic unregulated common pool.

All modes may coexist (pluriverse-wise) in communities alongside each other in the same territory. Also, multiple modes may be deployed within a given community, engaging a single commons, to deal with various dimensions of material, cultural and emotional reality.

For example, anarchists in the FLOSS/free internet movement fundamentally attempt federating around protocols. But they need to engage successfully in politicised collaborating too, in order to arrive at viable protocols. In their ‘autonomous’ lives (workplaces, families, neighbourhoods) they also are likely to engage in politicised collaborating.

platforms pluriverse.jpg

A couple of questions . . .

Q: Platforms are digital infrastructure-chunks. What is the contribution that platform infrastructures may make in each mode? In each of the modes of commoning in the table above, what are the dominant or residual-traditional ways of doing it, without resorting to emergent post-post-Fordist tech? What range of patterns are in the language to handle this?

Q: What kind of landscape do multiple platforms and commons constitute, when they sit together and alongside one another, in the life-space of a community, or in a territory? How to address - and design or evolve - complex, layered, inter-weaving, institutionally-partitioned, pluriversal, material-cultural infrastructures for living and working? What are the patterns in the language that engage this difficult challenge of curating, stewarding and differentiated (but not socially stratified or ego-fixated) enjoying in a commons-of-commons? Commons-of-commons? Now, that's a chewy notion! Patterns, please!

. . . and a note

The last-listed ‘nudging’ mode in the table (unselfconscious individualistic participants in an unregulated common pool) is particularly important in a context of chaotic environmental commoning. It’s more likely to be addressed through a ‘trustless’ tacit mechanism - some kind of #hashchain based, open-value, accounting and charging system (Don't ask 'em to think, just hit 'em in the pocket, classic-market-style) - than through explicit collaboration? Don't forget to have 'nudging' and other Capital-free, non-propertarian, non-extractive, market-mediated patterns in the language.

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