This is the final part of a weekly series of articles to appear in the journal Critical Studies in Peer Production (CSPP). In the series I try to describe analytical patterns developed by the Oekonux Project since over ten years of research on Free Software and commons-based peer production. Please visit the introducing part for the background. All released patterns: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.
Far from being a consistent theory of historical transition towards a free society these patterns give a fairly good impression of why they don’t fit into any of the traditional approaches. There might be some accordances with one approach or the other, and most of the Oekonux participants will not agree with all of the patterns, but no single approach could answer to all challenges at once in a consistent way.
This is not coincidental. On the one hand, the formation of a new society can not be entirely grasped in terms of the already fully developed society which is going to be made history. On the other hand, there are overarching aspects which continue to exist in all societies, but which undergo a reconfiguration. Other aspects dissolve completely. And finally some aspects are leveraged in a way that they hardly have anything in common with their origin. These three forms of transition – preservation, dissolution, leverage – describe the meaning of what G.W.F. Hegel called sublation (Aufhebung). Ten patterns of societal transition presented in this paper try to fulfill this requirement.