Avainsana-arkisto: discussion

Demonetization and communisation

 demon
Vaihtoehtoinen talousjärjestelmä ja raha  -keskustelusarjan kolmas osa käsitteli demonetisaatiota ja  kommunisaatiota. Tällä kertaa ei etsitty vaihtoehtoista rahaa vaan vaihtoehtoa rahalle. Tilaisuudessa jakaannuttiin lyhyen yleisen keskustelun jälkeen pohtimaan käytännön mahdollisuuksia tarkemmin neljässä pienryhmässä.
Väen väki: kaiken kommonisaation kannoilla -julkaisu/alusta/arkisto esiteltiin lyhyesti. Luotiin katsaus sen keväällä alkavaan julkaisuohjelmaan sekä sen kommunismikäsitykseen kaiken kommunisaationa: uutena yhteiselle ja yhteisöille perustuvana elämänmuotona ilman rahaa, omaisuutta ja valtiota. Keskustelusarjaamme kytkeytyvä ja puheena ollut Marxin radikaaliin luentaan perustuva perusteellisempi rahan, vaihdon ja arvon kritiikki näistä kategorioista ihmisen ja tämän suhteet myrkyttävinä välittäjinä ilmestyy julkaisun sivuilla. Tästä rahakritiikistä, Väen väki -julkaisuun kirjoittamisesta ja ennen kaikkea kommunisaatioon yleisemmin kytkeytyvästä tekemisestä kiinnostuneiden toivotaan ottavan yhteyttä.
Keskusteluun ruoantuotannosta kommuunin kontekstissa osallistui ihmisiä eri lähtökohdista. Monilla oli jo käytännön kokemuksia erilaisista yhteisöistä ja puutarhanviljelystä. Keskustelussa pyrittiin ymmärtämään yhteisöllistä ruoantuotantoa/-hankintaa kapitalistisen kategorioiden ja yhteiskunnan kritiikkinä: viljelyä palkkatyöriippuvuudesta vapauttavana toimintana, sadon jakamisen kysymyksen ulottuvuuksia, ja viljely-yhteisön yhteyksistä muihin tuotannollisiin prosesseihin sekä yleisempään yhteiskunnalliseen muutokseen ja kamppailuun. Keskustelu tulee jatkumaan esimerkiksi kirjallisessakin muodossa, mutta ennen kaikkea käytännöllisenä prosessina eräällä lähistön kasvimaalla. Uudet ihmiset ovat tervetulleita mukaan. Kevään ensimmäinen kokoontuminen on Makamikilla 20.2 klo 18.
Kolmannessa pienryhmässä keskusteltiin jakamisen mahdollistavasta digitaalisesta ohjelmistosta ja erityisemmin Jaetaan-sivustosta tämän ohjelman tilana. Jaetaan-sivustoa hahmoteltiin kaikille helposti lähestyttäväksi: ei kirjautumisia eikä ideologisia keskusteluja. Teknisen kehittämisen osalta totesimme, että haluamme etsiä sopivan avoimen lähdekoodin ohjelman ja muokata sitä halutunlaiseksi. Kävimme läpi mahdollisia sivuston väärinkäyttöön liittyviä haasteita, jotka eivät vaikuttaneet ylitsepääsemättömiltä. Uusille tekijöille on tilaa ja tilausta. Osaavien tekijöiden löytyminen nopeuttaa sivuston valmistumista, joskin muutenkin ohjelma kehittyy vähitellen. Jaetaan-sivusto (jonka alustavaa hahmotelmaa linkin takana http://www.jaetaan-sivusto.net/ ) haluaa koota myös yleisemmin pääkaupunkiseudulla tapahtuvaa rahatonta ja vaihdannatonta toimintaa yhteen paikkaan helposti löydettäväksi. Keskustelun tarkemmat muistiinpanot ja jatkokeskustelun paikka löytyy Jaetaan-foorumilta. http://jaetaan-yhteiso.luofoorumi.com/f7-jaetaan-sivuston-kehittaminen
Neljännessä pienryhmässä oli tarkoitus jutella Jaetaan-juhlista, mutta keskustelu jakamisohjelmasta ja Jaetaan-sivustosta jatkui aiottua pidempään. Jaetaan-juhlat on alkoholivapaa K18 tapahtuma, jossa sisäänpääsy, tarjoilu, ohjelma ja kaikki muu on ilmaista ja kaikkien kesken jaettua. https://www.facebook.com/events/1564126590543950/ Jaetaan-juhlat on järjestetty nyt seitsemän kertaa. Kävijämäärät ovat nousseet tasaisesti alun muutamasta kymmenestä viime kerran yli sataan kävijään illan aikana. Myös media on ollut kiinnostunut poikkeuksellisesta tapahtumasta.  Konsepti on vapaa levitettäväksi. Se voi olla sisällöltään mitä tahansa: koko perheen tapahtuma tai K18 tanssibileet, iso festivaali tai pieni muutaman kymmenen ihmisen tapahtuma.
The Alternative financial system and money  -discussion series continued with the third section: demonetization and  communisation. This time the search was not for an alternative form of  money but an alternative for money. The session consisted of four subdiscussions and some general discussion.
Väen väki: for commonization of everything journal/magazine/platform/archive presented itself shortly. It introduced its publishing program starting later this spring and its conception of communism as communisation of everything – a new mode of common life as moneyless, propertyless and stateless communal relations between people. A more in depth critique of money, exhange and value influenced by radical Marxist approach to value as the venomous mediator between people and also related to themes of this discussion and discussion series will appear on the pages of the journal so stay tuned. People interested in Väen väki, discussing or writing about radical money critiqe or continue the general struggle for communisation should get in touch.
The discussion about the perspectives of food production in the context of a commune gathered some people with different backgrounds. Some had already practical experiences or other knowledge of different types communities and gardening. The approach of the discussion was to understand commune and communal food production as something struggling against capitalist categories and society: gardening as a challenge on wage labour dependence, questions of sharing the vegetables of the garden, and connecting the gardening community to other productive processes and wider societal transformation. The discussion will be continued in writing and most importantly as a practical gardening process not far from the place we gathered. People interested are encouraged to get in touch.
In the third group we discussed digital sharing program under development – Jaetaan-sivusto (Share-site) (some draft here http://www.jaetaan-sivusto.net/ ). We thought the site should be easy to approach – no registeration needed, no ideological discussion there. . From technical side we thought best way to proceed is to find an open source program and shape it to the site’s needs. We talked about misuse possibilities of the program and didn’t find too serious problems. There is room for new people with skills in the development group although the process will evolve slowly but surely also with people already involved. More details of the discussion in Jaetaan-foorum. http://jaetaan-yhteiso.luofoorumi.com/f7-jaetaan-sivuston-kehittaminen
In the fourth group we were supposed to talk about Jaetaan-juhlat (Share-party) but discussion about the site went on. In short, Share-party is an alcohol-free event with 18 years agelimit and where everything cost nothing. Entrance, drinks, snacks, the program and everything is something that someone wants to share with other people without a demad of of payment. https://www.facebook.com/events/1564126590543950/ The event has been arrangend for seven times now and the amount of visitors has rised from twenty to more than one hunderd. Also media had been interested in this exceptional party. Share-party is a free concept to spread and organize. It can be family event, K18 dance party, big festival, a small event for twenty people ore something else.

* Introduction to Demonetization and communisation

The discussion about the alternatives for our current socially and ecologically destructive form of money should not be limited to ideas on alternative forms of money and currencies. If we understand money as an alienated social relation, a mediator which replaces the real human communities with atomized individuals and as something which will always tie us down to the diabolic logic of exchange and commodity/value production, we understand the need for finding an alternative for money in all its forms.

Instead of the more conservative state (or central bank) reform models the most interesting discussions about money reforms are connected to locality and communities and even ideas about money as a commons. This is understandable as it is obvious that the money we use is the very method that separates (even antagonizes) us and our activities from others living around us and is everything but controlled in common. But as Gilles Dauve puts it: ”The community disappeared on the day when its (former) members became interested in each other only to exchange. — With the birth of exchange in the community, labour is no longer the realization of needs by the collectivity, but the means to obtain from others the satisfaction of one’s needs.” There is no need – or even possibility – to exchange from what is already controlled in common.

The total critique of exchange and its practical form, demonetization, only takes us halfway through though. As the reproduction of human beings is a social affair – unless we want to change only the form of our isolation and continue the bourgoisie logic of every person for himself – it is not enough to withdraw from money relations. It is a question of replacing money relations with communities of different kind which are able to take part and control in common the reproduction of the material and cultural dimensions of the life of human beings without money (exchange and value).

Communisation, a revolutionary commu/onist method (and a theoretical discussion field about the possibilities of revolution in which for example Gilles Dauve, Jacques Camatte, Theorie Communiste and Invisible committee have taken part) has been addressing this problematic for some time now. The concept builds on the tradition of the most radical, and always marginalized, currents of the working class movement (Amadeo Bordigas ideas on communism in Italy, KAPD movement and Anton Pannekoek in Germany, the Situationists in France, insurrectionary anarchism etc) but its roots go way deeper in the history of human kind than capitalism and its opponents and it has already outgrown the obvious limits of the classical workers movement and its historical failure.

Troploin collective puts communisation in a nutshell:
“The idea is fairly simple, but simplicity is often one of the most difficult goals to achieve. It means that a revolution is only communist if it changes all social relationships into communist relationships, and this can only be done if the process starts in the very early days of the revolutionary upheaval. Money, wage-labour, the enterprise as a separate unit and a value-accumulating pole, work-time as cut off from the rest of our life, production for value, private property, State agencies as mediators of social life and conflicts, the separation between learning and doing, the quest for maximum and fastest circulation of everything, all of these have to be done away with, and not just be run by collectives or turned over to public ownership: they have to be replaced by communal, moneyless, profitless, stateless, forms of life. The process will take time to be completed, but it will start at the beginning of the revolution, which will not create the preconditions of communism: it will create communism.”

Currency as a Commons

currency_bannerAnother Financial system & Money for Finland

Discussion series

Report of the third discussion : Currency as a commons.

The title of the event “Currency as a Commons” turned the focus of this evening to the different proposals taking back the (financial) economy. Parallel to banks and financial markets, these are collaborative credit systems, based on voluntary collaboration, which can be serving autonomous networks and solidarity economy building. Alternatives discussed in this meeting included collaborative credit systems, the promise of Blockchains, complementary currency philosophy, design, and local implementation.

This session was hosted by Ruby van der Wekken, Mikko Laamanen, Joonas Pekkanen from D-CENT and Kristian Wahlbeck from the Finnish Association for Mental Health. In his short welcome, Kristian discussed the history of the Lapinlahti hospital, which is now going through a transition from a mental institution to a place for collaborative work, social entrepreneurship, and mental wellbeing. This third discussion session included four presentations on blockchain technology and the Robin Hood co-operative, D-Cent project and experimentation in Finland (and at Lapinlahden Lähde), on solidarity economy building through timebanking, and the development of local / complementary currencies in Europe. A main question for all was how does the particular initiative/development contribute to other economy building.

Pekko Koskinen: Robin Hood co-op and beyond

The Robin Hood Cooperative (http://www.robinhoodcoop.org) started as a parasyte algorithm tracking all investments in the NY exchange, and copying good investment behaviour, opening as such investments to regular people who otherwise would be excluded. Robin Hood Coop has been using the profits created for commons related projects.

Pekko (Robinhood co-op, Reality Research Centre) described these workings as Robin Hood 1.0. Bitcoin has been a first generation blockchain experience creating a trust network of numbers, a functioning currency without any need to build trust by multiple layers of (international) governance. 2nd generation blockchain currencies do not only build trust levels, but are small programs,which allow for more building than just transfers. So for instance ownership of land can be tracked, and similar trust levels as currently offered by governments can be built. The blockchain 2.0 generation create as such new economic interactions. Today we are mostly limited to buying and selling, and are largely cut off of from the forming of other kinds of economic relations for example as in equity structures, shared ownership. The baby steps toward new economic structures are seen in crowdfunding, like kickstarter. Kickstarter is a company, and what kickstarter offers is rather simple. There is a buy and sell transaction and added are 2 conditions. But what’s currently been developed are programs with more building blocks.  What if this development is made open source P2P? Then we come to a very different economy.

With this the whole idea of economy comes to change. And it is important to start taking a hold of this. For the main question then becomes, who will make the change, and how it will work. Will it be the banks which are already creating their own blockchains? or will it be smaller units which have other ideological background.

http://bambuser.com/v/6037608 (event and Pekko’s starts from 20:00 min)

Marco Sachy: D-Cent project process

Marco Sachy’s works in the D-CENT project, http://dcentproject.eu/, which includes designing local currencies.  D-CENT then developed Freecoin, a set of tools to let people run reward schemes that are transparent and auditable to other organisations. The domains of innovation that Freecoin offers is that community members can decide on the systemic features of the currency system they use, with the social proof of work, which is the proof that members have abided to previously agreed- upon ‘rules of the game’ in order to be rewarded. Timebank is good example of social currency, with the members having abided to previously agreed upon rules of the game. And secondly, D-cent digital social currency pilots are experiences in reputation management, distributed trust management systems. D-CENT came to Helsinki in the spring of 2014 to map the alternative currencies situation.

For the Finnish context, D-CENT created Multapaakku, which incorporates the idea of social proof-of-work. The currency is a means for the monitoring of amounts of work, as in a cooperative where different quantities of work are performed. It includes giving power to the worker to remunerate himself after his work. The idea is currently to test the system, a peer-to-peer transaction management for the common good in which everybody is able to monitor. Being a blockchain-based complementary currency gives it an element of resilience: if the system is down it is still works.

See Marco’s slides

See also dyndy.net for Marco’s hactivist writings.

Ruby van der Wekken: Timebanking and solidarity economy building, the case for a timetax.

Ruby told of Helsinki Timebanks development of which she has been an active member since its inception in 2009, and in these six years more than 24.000 tovi’s have been exchanged. Helsinki Timebank is part of/runs on the Community Exchange Systems (CES), which hosts today some 780 groups in 80 countries, and which all can intertrade.

Solidarity economy envisioning and methodology has been inspirational to the development of the timebank, putting upfront that economy is ‘nothing else’ but the way we organise daily life. If then putting on right lenses, we can see around us different economic actors which have other values than monetary profit upfront, and whose motive is the social reproduction of life. By increasingly using them and linking these economic activities (as through a complementary currency as aikapankki) we can be further growing another economy, and in this process further our commons and the commoning around them. The time currency itself then, is not a commodity, but a token in a ‘credit commons’ that allows people to exchange services, earning and spending credits. The process of defining the principles and the rules of the credit currency itself a process of commoning. This envisioning has been accompanying the timebank’s  intensive development process determining its values and principles, and through which it came to define itself as  “Helsinki Timebank’s objective is to support mutual assistance between people, and through this strengthen communal culture. Helsinki Timebank strengthens a social and ecological just local economy, in which everyone is of equal value and has equal participation possibilities.”

Current taxation guidelines according to which taxation is to be payed on professional services received in a timebank has been hindering the development and thus realisation of the potential of the timebank. There is a need to settle the role in society for a timebank, for any complementary currency for that matter. Helsinki timebank in response developed the idea of a timetax, which is already operating in the timebank. Building further on this, we could then imagine a public actor approved for membership joining a timebank, who would as such also become a recipient of timetax allocations. This is as such a process pointing to not a privatising but commonifying of the public. Ruby said to have come to understand that the idea of a timetax is besides an answer to the taxation issue, also in itself an interesting proposal. We all afterall work part of our time to pay taxation, why not (partly) do so directly in places and spaces we want to be present at. Can Helsinki city come to trust in this kind of peoples economy building, including its proposal for a timetax?

See Ruby’s slides

http://bambuser.com/v/6037735

Leander Bindewald: Current debates on complementary currencies

Leander Bindewald, formerly with the New Economic Foundation, is now doing his Ph.D. at the University of Cumbria on complementary currencies and discourses around money. As Leander pointed to, money as we know it, is just one kind of currency, mostly issued by commercial banks. There can be different currencies, a unit system facilitating collaboration within a community. As with a timebank, the question when designing a currency is what kind of human system do we want to build. Different answers will be given by different groups with different priorities, which via the different currencies can give rise to a pluralistic economy where these voices are heard.

A blockchain then does not bind to any particular form of currency, but offers a range of opportunities. One still then needs to decide what want/need to do. And to think if need blockchain, or if something simpler will do, like for instance the CES, or printing paper.

Then there are all kind of different design elements, like the governance of a system. When understand money is not god-given, these issues become open questions.  Important are also the experiences we currently have. Many local currencies will pay tax in local currency, as its still worth doing so. It is when designing money which is based really on other values than economic value, that it raises questions. Leander saw the timetax as a creative answer, but for Leander, if a currency already contributes to the common good should there not instead be tax exemption (if taxation is about redistribution of gains by actors not contributing to the common good).

At the moment money is not telling anything usefull about what is happening our world. The more currencies we will come to be using, the better we will be getting at telling what is happening. There are a whole lot of great ideas with regards to currencies out there, unfortunately coming to an experiment with a currency is a very intensive long term process starting from the explaining of the idea, why people should use it, explain about money as we know it, get it functional and operational, so with regards to most ideas we will never get to know what they have to offer.

There was no time to discuss the 3rd International community currency conference held in October 2015, in Brasil where Leander participated, but here a link to all the papers there, http://socialcurrency.sciencesconf.org/

http://bambuser.com/v/6037773

Following the presentations, three groups were formed for the breakout discussions: 1) on blockchain-technology, 2) timebanking, and 3) the nature of a local currency in Lapinlahti.