Peer to Peer: The Commons Manifesto

Affilation: P2P Lab

Abstract: Not since Marx identified the manufacturing plants of Manchester as the blueprint for the new capitalist society has there been a more profound transformation of the fundamentals of our social life. As capitalism faces a series of structural crises, a new social, political and economic dynamic is emerging: peer to peer. What is peer to peer? Why is it essential for building a commons-centric future? How could this happen? These are the questions this book tries to answer. Peer to peer (P2P) is a type of social relations in human networks, as well as a technological infrastructure that makes the generalization and scaling up of such relations possible. We believe that these four aspects will profoundly change human society. P2P ideally describes systems in which any human being can contribute to the creation and maintenance of a sharedresource while benefiting from it. There is an enormous variety of such systems: from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia to free and open-source software projects, to open design and hardware communities, to relocalization initiatives and community currencies. Thus, P2P enables a new mode of production and creates the potential for a transition to a commons-oriented economy. Full title: Bauwens, M., Kostakis, V., & Pazaitis, A. (2019, forthcoming). Peer to Peer: The Commons Manifesto. London: Westminster University Press.

Bio: Alex Pazaitis is a core member of the interdisciplinary research collective P2P Lab, spin-off of the Ragnar Nurkse Department of Innovation and Governance, Tallinn University of Technology and the research arm of the P2P Foundation. He holds an MA in Technology Governance and is currently a Junior Research Fellow and PhD candidate at the Ragnar Nurkse Department.

Co-authors: Michel Bauwens is the Founder of the P2P Foundation and works in collaboration with a global group of researchers in the exploration of commons-based peer production, governance, and property. Vasilis Kostakis is the Professor of P2P Governance at Tallinn University of Technology and Faculty Associate at Harvard University. He is the founder of the P2P Lab and core member of the P2P Foundation.