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6970RE: [decentralization] Re: Generalizing Peer Production into the Physical World

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  • Scott Feamster
    Nov 8, 2007
      Hi, guys,

      There are multiple ownership alternatives, not just two. If we want to
      group ownership into two groups, the following two might be more
      appropriate.
      * State ownership held in the name of the people: communism, socialism,...
      * Ownership actually held by the people: public companies, private
      companies,...

      Ownership by the people might also be grouped into two groups.
      * For profit: sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations,...
      * Not for profit: churches, charities, cooperatives,...

      Although profit motives assure competition for the best ideas and solutions,
      passion is also a powerful motivator. Startup ventures present multiple
      forms of self-organizing entities. Legalities help to formalize working
      relationships.

      Globalizing networks were founded with the earliest worldwide traders. The
      difference now is that we deploy silicon and software rather than caravel's
      and camels.

      Open societies assure open software competition, both for and not for
      profit. What do you think?

      For freedom and software,
      Scott

      -----Original Message-----
      From: decentralization@yahoogroups.com
      [mailto:decentralization@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of cjenscook
      Sent: Thursday, November 08, 2007 7:20 AM
      To: decentralization@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [decentralization] Re: Generalizing Peer Production into the
      Physical World

      > cjenscook wrote:
      > > The conventional view remains that the choice is EITHER:
      > > (a) Public = State owned; OR
      > >
      > > (b) Private = "owned by a "Joint Stock Limited Liability Company"
      > > aka "Corporation".
      > >

      Miles Fidelman replied
      > Which completely leaves out:
      >
      > - non-profit (or non-governmental organization) - governed by
      either its membership or a board of trustees

      > - cooperative corporation - again, governed by its members (and if
      you think coops can't be effective businesses, check out the
      financials on Ocean Spray, or True Value Hardware)

      Agreed. And others besides. But I think that you will agree that the
      principal assumption and primary discourse seems to be that "Private"
      = Corporate = Wealth Creator and "Public" = State = Wealth Consumer.

      I'm well aware of the effectiveness of some Cooperatives as
      businesses and I advocate a networked enterprise model that is
      essentially a "Cooperative of Cooperatives" or "Partnership of
      Partnerships". The problem has been that until recently no legal
      entity existed that permitted such a possibility.

      In the UK we have long had (the very name is Victorian)
      a "genetically modified" Corporate form - the "Industrial and
      Provident Society" which is often used by Coops - and there are also
      examples of what are effectively worker-owned Coops such as the John
      Lewis Partnership, Baxi Partnership and so on which put conventional
      shares into employee trusts.

      My point is that these are "Organisations", with the same Principal/
      Agent conflict of interest as any other Organisation as between
      the "owners" on the one hand, and the "management" on the other,
      albeit worker Coops are the least conflicted.

      See

      http://www.telekommunisten.net/venture-communism#

      for an interesting, but radical, software business enterprise model.

      I believe that using partnership protocols/ Semantic Web it is
      possible to transcend "Organisations" in terms of managing
      stakeholder relationships, and to create a legal framework with cross-
      border application within which individuals "self organise" to the
      agreed Common Purpose set out in the framework agreement.

      The relevant "Property" would be held in trust by a "Custodian",
      while stakeholders simply agree between themselves as to how the
      value created from the use of that "Property" should be shared - in
      whatever form that "value" takes.

      Chris

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