From: Howard Engelskirchen (howarde@IASTATE.EDU)
Date: Wed Dec 26 2007 - 18:29:10 EST
Thanks very much, Michael, for the links to sabine nuss’s material – her outline for the socialist scholars conference is a very good brief introduction to the challenge posed by digital property and to starting points for a socialist critique. Her characterization of the internet as a big copy and distribution machine is a good one. As she suggests, because the digital revolution has made the distribution of information essentially costfree – information retains its use value but loses its exchange value – the circulation of value is disrupted and this is dysfunctional for capitalism. A new enclosure movement is thus set in motion -- notoriously reflected in the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (U.S.) and in efforts to bring peer to peer file sharing under legal control -- but reflected also in the readiness of ‘producers’ to use encryption as a way of turning cyberspace into a warren of gated virtual communities. That’s one dynamic. Perhaps harder to assess are the new work models suggested by the free and open software movements – creative and intellectual production offered transparently and without cost to the public and available for others to take, use, and improve. The internet itself emerged in this way, and the wiki movement also is an expression of the open source impulse. Notice that among the earliest intellectual products of every civilization are successful wikis on a grand scale – Gilgamesh, Homer, the Mahabharata, etc. But as Nuss concludes, the dissolution of traditional production relations is nothing new in the history of capitalism. Nonetheless something more seems to be at issue here. Material production can be secured by the norm that expresses private property: the exclusion by law from interference. You exclude interference and then leave the producer to her own devices. Production relations are formed and dissolved within that frame. But shaping creative and intellectual production to that model has never been right. Information, an intrinsically social product, is not costlessly produced, but as its costfree distribution becomes increasingly decisive to social reproduction, private enclosure and exclusion can’t work. We need to understand the contradictions implied. howard At 03:38 PM 12/25/2007, you wrote: >Michael, would I be right in thinking that Nuss is from the WertKritik school? > >I would also be interested in your view of how the German language WertKritik >school relates to the English Language 'Value Form' school? > >Quoting Michael Heinrich <m.heinrich@PROKLA.DE>: > > > Sabine Nuss presented such a theoretical elaboration in her book > > "Copyright & Copyriot" (in German) - rather critical against the idea > > that communism would start with linux. Papers of her (in German) you can > > find on her website www.nuss.in-berlin.de > > A brief English handout presented at the Socialist Scholars Conference > > in New York is > > > > >http://wbk.in-berlin.de/wp_nuss/wp-content/uploads/2006/10/digitalproperty_02.pdf > > > > This paper followed a debate with Richard Stallmann > > > > http://wbk.in-berlin.de/wp_nuss/wp-content/uploads/2006/10/stall_1.html > > > > Michael > > > > Howard Engelskirchen schrieb: > > > > > Paul and others, > > > > > > I'd be interested in some theoretical elaboration of this -- why > > > would left wing computer people say so and what would they mean when > > > they say so? How do they think existing relations of production are > > > transformed? > > > > > > howard > > > > > > At 05:25 PM 12/22/2007, you wrote: > > > > > >> I think what Gates says here is what many left wing computer people > > >> would also say. > > >> > > >> Paul Cockshott > > >> Dept of Computing Science > > >> University of Glasgow > > >> +44 141 330 3125 > > >> www.dcs.gla.ac.uk/~wpc/reports/ > > >> > > >> > > >> > > >> -----Original Message----- > > >> From: OPE-L on behalf of glevy@PRATT.EDU > > >> Sent: Sat 22/12/2007 5:34 PM > > >> To: OPE-L@SUS.CSUCHICO.EDU > > >> Subject: [OPE-L] OpenSource: a "new source of communism" > > >> > > >> A short article from the English > > >> online version of > > >> _L'Humanite'_, > > >> published by the PCF, in which > > >> Bill Gates > > >> is quoted as saying > > >> that Open Source is a "new > > >> source of communism": > > >> > > >> <http://www.humaniteinenglish.com/article319.html> > > >> > > >> > > >> The article, though, doesn't > > >> identify the > > >> original source for > > >> the quote. > > >> > > >> In solidarity, Jerry > > > > > > > > > > >Paul Cockshott > >www.dcs.gla.ac.uk/~wpc >reality.gn.apc.org > >---------------------------------------------------------------- >This message was sent using IMP, the Internet Messaging Program.
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