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Pixelache (Helsinki) is hosting 'Social Tools: Decentralized Organizing'' as its theme again for the second September running, with a Symposium on Friday afternoon and a full weekend of workshops.
In 2019 the keywords are Money, Power and Conflict. Today we heard stories from such a variety of organizations, the struggles, the failures, the weaknesses - the realizations, collective wisdom - that we are vulnerable and human IS our collective strength.

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"This is your phone on feminism" by Maria Farrell on how peoples' relationship with their smartphones is like the abusive relationships that feminism has fought against - and what to do about it.

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@puffinus_puffinus It's necessary we think about bottom-up solutions rather than speculating about what will be passed from the top-down. With that in mind:

1. Form Mutual Aid networks in order to ensure the essential needs of everyone are met, starting by keeping local foodbanks stocked

2. Replace landlords and letting agencies with community and co-operative housing by way of tenants unions

3. Replace representative democratic institutions with directly democratic assemblies in which people participate in the making of decisions which effect them.

4. Replace capitalist businesses with workers co-operatives in which workers democratically decide the direction of the business by building revolutionary trade unionism

5. Replace education institutions with democratic free schools in which teachers and students democratically decide the direction of the school by building students unions and strengthening links with teachers' unions

Gibson, J.K., J. Cameron, K. Dombroski, S. Healy, E. Miller and the Community Economies Collective. 2018. "Cultivating Community Economies". An Essay for the Next System Project.

Strategies to help cultivate community economies

pdf version here

Viable Systems Model

I suppose this reading is not new for many here but new for me. :)
would like to hear what people / groups have learned from this, how they have operationalized the model in practice.

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"Fifty years ago, the counterculture hoped to bring about a world in which individuals could be more authentically themselves, and in which the hierarchies of organizations and states would disappear. Today, those hierarchical institutions are all that stand between us and a cult of personality.
If the communes of the 1960s teach us anything, they teach us that a community that replaces laws + institutions with a cacophony of individual voices courts bigotry + collapse."

'We’d like to believe that when the moment of crisis comes, a movement agitating for tech justice by way of open source, decentralization, inclusive communities of producers, and expanded access to tools will be at the ready.'

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Last retoots - interesting review of Michel Bauwens - Peer to Peer The Commons Manifesto - rather critical, well worth a read.

When comparing P2P relationships to the Fediverse -
'Ostrom’s polycentral governance is practised in the Fediverse.'

Talking about criticism of P2P Foundation / Bauwens, I've not been following so much recently and totally missed this worrying trend developing

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Heard of a cool tech-bro-weeding interview technique the other day. A male and female engineer conduct the interview session together. If, when the female engineer asks the candidate a question, he directs his answer to the male engineer, then he's out. They said it happens a lot

acknowledgements to Dmytri for the metaphor, who mentioned how 'transvestment' is used too easily and abstractly in proselytizing texts as if it is something applied like a magic ointment to capitalism - to make capitalism better.
I'd argue that the current rampant commons-wash operates the same way (as Daniel writes in his book review linked in this thread)

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When people narrow their relationships to hierarchical relations they risk to leave a large part of their brains inactive. They become blunt. The reason why hierarchical systems in history did lead to disasters is not only because of the stupidity of autocrats but also because of the brain laziness of their followers no longer practicing reverse dominance hierarchy. To step after a flag is that more easy than maintaining reciprocated relationships of trust and obligation.

TL;DR: the 'commons' is not a mayonnaise you can slather on top of everything capitalist in order to magically turn it into a delectable, equitable and just horizontalism

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on the myth that peer-to-peer self-organizing can be conflict-free and inclusive because the people involved are reasonable, good and rational.
Dr Jedediah Walls, our activist collective and I write about designing community guidelines and Codes-of-Conduct here

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