The Occupy Wall Street movement is a model for a new economic paradigm, in which value is first created by communities.
'Occupy' as business model
In the title of this editorial, I describe Occupy as a business model and link it to the possibility of a new civilisational model. We can do this by expanding from the already-existing institutional logic of peer production in knowledge, software and hardware, to a vision of the macro-economy.
Today, we assume that value is created by for-profit companies and conceive of civil society as a "remainder" category: it's what we do when we come home, exhausted after our paid work. This is reflected in the language we use to describe civil society, when we call them non-profits or non-governmental.
This system as a whole is managed by a state. But the social democratic welfare state has increasingly become a corporate-welfare state, in which the gains are privatised and the losses socialised. In other words, the state has become an extension of the corporation and is less and less a servant of the citizenry. We can see the progress of this model in how the so-called "troika" (consisting of the European Union, European Central Bank and the IMF) is now imposing slash-and-burn politics in Greece.
Occupy and open-source models illuminate a new possible reality, in which the democratic civic sphere, productive commons and a vibrant market can co-exist for mutual benefit:
• At the core of value creation are various commons, where innovations are open for all to share and to build upon;=
• These commons are protected through non-profit civic associations, which empower that social production;
• Around the commons emerges a vibrant commons-oriented economy comprised of ethical companies, whose legal structures tie them to the values and goals of the commons communities, not to creating private profit.
Where these three circles intersect, citizens decide on the optimal shape of their provisioning systems.
This model can exist as a submodel within capitalism, and to some extent already does so in the present system, as the open-source software business ecology. It could also become, with some necessary hacks, the core logic of a new civilisation.
Occupy has not just shown us prefigurative politics, but prefigurative economics as well.Al Jazeera
'Occupy' as a business model: The emerging open-source civilisation
Michel Bauwens | P2P (Peer-to-Peer) Foundation
System people are busy transferring knowledge and skills to social organization in a spontaneous way in response to challenges of increasing complexity, as would be expected in an intelligent species exploring options based on needs.