Manifesto – Commons-Based Peer Society

( If you do not know about the ideas of the global commons and the peer society (peer economy + peer property + peer governance),  Here’s a great introduction to the topic: http://blog.p2pfoundation.net/what-is-p2p-an-introduction/2014/02/04

And here’s a great resource if you want to dig deeper: http://p2pfoundation.net/ is a great resource! We put links to connected articles in this text, for you to get background information about expressions that you might not know. )

(This is only a first, short draft, but we thought it is important to reveal the theoritcal background, in order to be more clear about the intentions of this project.

The actual manifesto is on it’s way, you can look at its current state and/or start contributing here: http://titanpad.com/lFtdIRrTM4)

Manifesto – Commons-Based Peer Society

Solidaria is an approach to build an infrastructure that enables the existence of the global commons.

Its theoretical background is based on the global commons movement.

This is an introduction of the ideas behind Solidaria, not the description of how these are applied on the platform.

It provides the organizational and financial infrastructure for a society of the global commons, consisting of a peer economy which produces peer property and uses all of its profits as funding for the establishment of the global commons – material and immaterial. The principles of production and the access to the the peer property that forms the global commons is peer governed.

We think that the only way to make the global commons actually become real is by converging those three key elements of a new society and by strictly collectivizing any form of profit (meaning revenue after deduction of all costs, including “wages”) – or in other words to prevent the accumulation of capital in private hands instead of collective structures. Then apply this on a globally organized community, thus finally empowering the people to fully run their own society inside the existing one. Partially this is already done today, but now we want to converge the existing efforts into one coherent alternative system. The internet gives us the technical opportunity to do this, now we want to use it!

Its peer governing is decentralized where appropriate and enables global collective decisions inside the commons where needed. Any collection of people, cooperatives and other communities can form an autonomous hoheitsgebiet and make and follow their own rules. But if the GCC sees certain rules as contrary to the common interest and this rule applies to something that the GCC is stakeholder of as a whole, the GCC can force the autonomous hoheitregion to apply the global rule. A good example for a matter where the GCC is stakeholder as a whole is the matter of how the Solidaria-Cooperatives interact with the enviroment and its natural resources.

It is built to provide for an integral transition from the current market-based to a commons-based society. This is ensured through the differentiation of interactions that happen inside the global commons and interactions that happen with the outside, market-based society. This a vital part of the concept, since the only way to expand the global commons is by buying them from the capitalist society and taking them off the market for good. In order to do this we need to join the competition for capital to a certain extend. Occupation is another solution in some places, but it does not ensure the ongoing existence of the occupied space as part of the global commons, since it can always and mostly will be claimed back by the market-based society by enforcing their laws with violence.

The Solidaria-Cooperatives are the border between the common-based and the market-based society. Inside interactions are based on “the circuit of the commons”, interactions with the outside are partly based on the traditional “circuit of capital”. The key difference for this matter being that to the outside the cooperatives are run for-profit with the community of the global commons being their shareholders. To the inside cooperatives are run for-benefit, meaning the production aims to create use value or ‘benefits’ for its user community, not profits for shareholders.

This way the Solidaria-Cooperatives are competitive to the capitalist surrounding and provide for the expanding global commons sphere through their surplus values and their products (material and immaterial).

Solidaria-Cooperatives are not worker-owned, means of production, land property and surplus values are peer property of the community of the global commons.

This surplus value is used to fund for a full for-benefit-peer-economy/-society, by providing funding for land, means of production and labor in fields that do not provide funding through production for themselves – such as cultural, educational and open knowledge. Also it lends money to founding groups of new productive Solidaria-Cooperatives. This financial structure of subsidization is needed for a full transition. When the global commons are big enough to be self-sufficient a new structure for the distribution of resources can be put in place.

The distribution of this scarce resource (capital) is peer-governed, to ensure that it is used in the general interest of the community.

Anything that is funded with this collective money becomes peer property and the access to these resources become a matter of peer governance. It can be used by mainly autonomous local communities, but the community of the global commons has the right to reclaim it, if it feels that its usage is not in common interests anymore.

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