Commons-Based, Peer-to-Peer Society

Transitioning towards a Commons-Based, Peer-to-Peer Society.

Commons Transition

The Commons Transition Platform is a database of practical experiences and policy proposals aimed toward achieving a more humane and environmentally grounded mode of societal organization.


Politics has not lead to any solutions to the world’s problems in the past. As The P2P Foundation provides policy proposals to governments, it’s easy to see that the political system is unlikely to change, and so The P2P Foundation will end up in that cycle also.

📌 @mbauwens, & The P2P Foundation uses policies? The Venus Project; Resource Based Economy provides solutions:

RT this group’s ideas are okay, but tags about The Venus Project, Resource Based Economy, and Transition should be avoided as they are still too closely aligned to solving things using the monetary system, and the political system. Tagged tweets using #TVP or #RBE may confuse people.

The groups success will depend on how defined a vision they have of the future, and the path they choose to reach that future. However the group may change its views of the future as they gain closer links, and influence with government, and thus industries. However they are keeping their cards (their vision of the future) close to their chest, possibly allowing them to maneuver during the #transition events to various possible futures. This is a major factor in deciding that they are worth RT, but not applying tags related to TVP or RBE.

This group (and probably all group members because of politics) are probably still stuck in solving the world’s problems using the existing economic monetary system, and the political system. Because of this groups ties to politics, and the political way of doing things, this group will find it very difficult to understand how to solve the current world problems we face today. If they deal with important people in the political system, then it is difficult to talk to regular people who don’t have a status, as it seems to imply that regular people can have a say in how a country is run, and that is not the way politics works—your political representative handles the running of the country after you vote them in.

  • @Commons_Trans
  • @mbauwens
    • Also check out 📌 Michel Bauwens (Commons Transition) [article]: as this person is often on social media and is proposing some interesting ideas, that appear quite complex in many ways. It’s quite possible that this person and his group will provide a alternative solution to the predictions about trends by Jeremy Rifkin. On the surface it seems that government will play a much more active role in how things are shared, with the “Commons Transition” that role may be a much more supportive infrastructure of laws, and distribution of wealth then might occur with the Jeremy Rifkin’s concept (which is criticized by Michel Bauwens and his group).

“Towards an Open Knowledge Commons Society”

“What do we mean by a ‘Commons Transition’ and how can we achieve it? A special introduction by Michel Bauwens and John Restakis.” ~

Michel Bauwens (@mbauwens) put in the following tweet after I mentioned him:

The hour long video in Michel Bauwens’ tweet is repeated here:, (May 19, 2015 video date).

Jeremy Rifkin describes this type of discussion (14:50-17:30) as “our economists see only two ways to organize the economy: government, private enterprise, or some combination of the two (a social market economy—based on money)” This type of discussion in the above video provided by Michel Bauwens’ tweet ( does not lead to a solution to our current problems, because it ignores the “Social Commons (some of it being formalized as the Non-Profit Sector),” as that sector does not provide market capital; but it is a huge sector; as described by Jeremy Rifkin.

Co-operatives are producing and sharing things with each other without a profit or close to zero cost.

If Michel Bauwens is stuck on re-arranging the monetary system to find a solution, then he and thus the “Commons Transition” is not moving in the general direction of a Resource Based Economy or towards the Transition Period. But Jacque Fresco does mention that the transition is unavoidable—due to automation—so there is no doubt that the Commons Transition Group will eventually have to accept the monetary system is failing. They do seem to be about sharing and cooperation, the same topics talked about by Jeremy Rifkin, so it may not take a lot for this group to to align with the idea that the world is increasingly becoming automated.

According to Jeremy Rifkin, citizens will increasingly bypass government and big industry, as individuals take on power production, transport services, food production, education, medical treatment (AI and robots), product production, communications and so on. Because the Commons Transition Group has a focus on governments, it will be difficult for them to formulate today a plan that radically changes the way government works, so they will work with the existing system; but they will tick the ticks, to human rights, and other factors to do with automation, but it’s very likely that this will only be symbolic. The Reasons for this are gone into below.

Commons Transition Group doesn’t seem to consider short product life times, global warming (although one video mentions it, and some designs by the group seem to aimed at reducing global warming), mass extinction event, and (cruel) factory style of production used on food animals.  This may be due to the need to work in today’s (2017) government, and business frameworks.

Commons Transition Group can not see the possibility of no government, they instead transfer it to a techno-cratic (government?) style leadership; ref: “techno-cratic Venus Project should not be confused with technological sovereignty of p2p communities.” Yet their own literature in wiki form does mention the idea of no leaders and possibly no-government  (, but perhaps it is like human rights, a simple signature of agreement, that in legal terms means nothing, and thus the signature is little more then symbolic—one might assume that this group is making symbolic statement that sound good but mean little. A major part of no government, is that the Commons Transition Group sees government cooperating with people, the idea of no government is difficult in such cases.

Technological Sovereignty: is probably not what Michel Bauwens is referring to. Possibly what is referred to is individual sovereignty: Since no monetary/predatory system exist if there is no money, data should be used to produce solutions, and things that benefit individuals, or people: so yes, The Venus Project could potentially not respect personal ownership of data, as it the case with our present culture, but the data would be handled differently (in a significant way). However, The Venus Project probably has no firm agenda on how to handle personal data, and so might be open to various suggestions including individual sovereignty.

Individual sovereignty: we are cyborgs now, because we extend ourselves using technology. We can no longer draw a border around our tissues, but that border to our bodies must also include all the technologies that help us extend ourselves. While the cyborgs might have implants, the main way we extend ourselves if through explants (external technologies).

“…The sum total of our various aspects as contained within our biological beings as well as the myriad of technologies that we use to extend our biological abilities.”

“Once we understand this, it follows that we must extend the protections of the self beyond our biological borders to encompass those technologies by which we extend our selves. Wherefore, any attempt to own, control, and trade in these technologies by third parties is an attempt to own, control, and trade in the constitutional elements of people. It is, in short, an attempt to own, control, and trade in people.”

Any attempt to own the explants (and implants) we use to extend ourselves must be resisted. “For to not do so is to give our tacit consent to a new slavery: one in which we do not trade in the biological aspects of human beings but their digital aspects. The two, of course, do not exist apart and are not truly separable when manipulation of one necessarily affects the other.”

… once we understand that we extend our selves with technology and that our technology and data lie within the boundaries of the self, then we must insist that the constitutional protections of the self that we have enshrined within the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and implemented within our myriad of national laws are extended to protect the cyborg self.

The Commons Transition Group does seem to be aware of global problems: and leaderless groups: but translating that into working with a government that is strongly tied to industry seems difficult. Michel Bauwens own statement suggests a: “techno-cratic [governed] [Resource Based Economy as proposed by The] Venus Project.” Ref:, and this would be false as a Resource Based Economy as proposed by The Venus Project does not have any government of any type: automating government: (easy if money no longer exists). Further leaderless peer thinking, can’t exist in the pure form as the  Commons Transition Group has to work with governments, and industry (monetary based companies) that certainly still exist in 2017.

At this stage, commons-based peer production process should be seen as a prefigurative prototype of what could become a completely new mode of production and a new form of society. It is currently a prototype, since it cannot as yet fully reproduce itself outside of a mutual dependence with capitalism., 10 Open Hardware Projects to Save the Earth:

This is a especially powerful statement: “P2P creates the potential for a transition to an economy that can be generative towards people and nature.”

The above implies empathy towards each other and our earth. but ultimately the Commons-Based, Peer-to-Peer Society needs to have a solution for what the future will be like: as The Venus Project, and Jeremy Rifkin has, and this road map to the future is absent. The documents that’s provided by P2P Transition group is huge, but not easy to navigate, or to fully comprehend what if any overall solutions they are proposing.

The P2P Transition Team seems to be providing a platform for us to do work: “P2P is therefore a mode of relating that allows human beings, organized in networks, to collaborate, produce and exchange value. The collaboration is often permissionless, meaning that one may not need the permission of another in order to contribute. The P2P system is thus generally open to all contributors and contributions.”

In a way P2P depends on our cyborg selves (extension of ourselves by implants, and explants) but this link between people can also imply a link to communities, so even people without direct access to P2P (no computer, or mobile telephone for example), may still benefit because the community as a whole befits. As we move into the future, probably more an more people will be poor, and will not have the same amount of access to the internet for example (but they may have community mobile telephones). It’s the organizing aspect of P2P that is significant, and far reaching, because of such as the idea of alternative currencies like bitcoins, and project management software for example, not just direct interactions between people on a telephone or chat-room.

The Commons Transition Group may eventually work in similar ways to Jeremy Rifkin’s concepts, but at the moment they are fixated on a system that works with government, and thus industry (and that makes sense in 2017).

Some hints to this are contained here:

The Commons Transition Group can not be thought of as having a solution, like The Venus Project, or Jeremy Rifkin (and his solution is limited, and the lesser offer in many ways). The Commons Transition Group will probably not work towards a solution, preferring to keep things as they are if possible, but having contingency plans if the #IOT, Automation, and AI force changes though probably high unemployment. They seem to be considering a version of Universal Basic Income, but probably using a digital currency, or abstract points as a method of wealth distribution, a global reaction to automation. The Commons Transition Group will change as change forces all people on this earth to make some hard decisions… if they become influential, it’s hard to say how they will align with governments to find solutions. However, it’s very likely that they can’t be ignored, so taking notice of what they do… will assist the transition.

It’s up to The Venus Project Individual Projects to promote technologies, and cultures that fit in with those technologies, as well as producing an empathy to our world, and each other. As influence spreads because The Venus Project is also moving in a very similar direction, there’s a chance The Commons Transition Group will react in some way—but it is hard to understand if it will be in a supportive or non-supportive way because of political considerations.

The Commons Transition Group when considered with Greece, probably want a alternative similar to Jeremy Rifkin’s proposal, but with government playing a greater role, but industry will probably resist any try at that. Still there might be ways to encourage solar power generation (or other power generation methods, such as wind, wave, tidal, and water currents), 3D printing, aquaponics (an other food production methods), and a community that’s has empathy (cares) about people, and the world we live in (a link to the greater global community, not just Greece). Once the infrastructure is in place, Greece will probably have an easier time to maneuver between different futures.

It has taken a long time to come to the above conclusions, as Michel Bauwens is a complex person with many dimensions, and he seems to represent many things:, but sooner or later, actions must be taken on the social networks, and a real position must be taken, even if wrong or right in other people’s eyes. It’s easy to believe that in politics any view other then the parties is wrong.


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Shortened link to article: Commons-Based, Peer-to-Peer Society [article]: