Seven hypotheses about commonism

Elevate-Festival in Graz
[Presentation at »Kooperation statt Wettbewerb, Gemeinwohl statt Profit« @ Elevate-Festival]

Deutsche Version

1. The world will be commonist or the world will not be.

Capitalism is in deep crisis, somebody speak about a final crisis. If only capitalism is at stake, this could be gotten over. But we are capitalism, we are reproducing ourselves by reproducing us within capitalism by reproducing capitalism itself. If capitalism perishes, we perish. Thus, commonism is not a simple wish, not a crazy utopia, but simply an historical, an human necessity.

2. Wanting commonism needs understanding of capitalism

Capitalism is producing people producing capitalism. These dialectics may not be solved to one side. Neither the „greed“ of bank managers bears the blame, nor we are totally subordinated to the system. We have to understand the inner self-reproductive kernel of the operating system of capitalism, in order to act properly. The kernel bases on the rule, that only those people survive who are able to make more dead stuff from dead stuff – called money – by exploitation of the living.

3. Without capitalism everything is nothing, but not everything is capitalism

It is not the case, that capitalism is producing all of our means of living. Capitalism isn‘t even involved by the majority. Following estimations given by Carola Möller two third of all necessary actions and things we need for producing our societal life are not produced in form of commodities, thus are not produced by capitalism. The from the economy separated sphere is the predominant one, and it is predominantly done by women. It is the „unvisible“ fundament, the other side of capitalist valuation logic.

4. No commonism without commoning

It is a central insight, that commonism is bound to practical doing, to maintaining, to vital producing of the living conditions. However, inside capitalism practical doing is getting the aliened form of „labour“, a spending of energy to transform living things into dead stuff. Therefore, we have to agree with Massimo De Angelis, when he is writing: „‘refusal of work‘ as refusal of capital’s measures, and commoning as affirmation of other measures are the two sides of the same struggle“.

5. Commonism is not coming from nowhere

Commonism is existing in capitalism. But commonism is wedged into the value form: It must „pay off“ or at least „financially feasible“. Commonism is only becoming a germ form of a new society if commonism is able to self-produce on its own fundament. Beyond money, market and state.

6. Free Software – commonism in a germ form

A prominent example – why I am invited here – is Free Software. Free Software has left the commodity form and is therefore able to constitute new social and productive relationships. Free Software is living within capitalism and is germ form of a new way of socialization at the same time.

7. Speaking about commonism must not frighten you

„Communism“ is a burned word. This should not keep us from speaking about commonism. If we like it or not: One will object us with „communism“ in any case. But we can say it self-confident: No, this was not commonism, this was the state-based dictatorial form of capitalism. If capitalism accuses „communism“, then capitalism is accusing itself.

Commonism ist about sociality based on individuality, its about producing our societal lives beyond market mediated relationships. It‘s simply living.

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