Selv tror jeg på “cosmo=localization”!

We must rethink the way our economic system works. I believe in “cosmo=localization”: everything that is heavy should be local and everything that is light is global. Another way to name this would be to talk about ‘subsidiarity in material production’, i.e. to produce as close as possible to the place of need. This is important because transportation nearly has three times the environmental cost of production. We need to reorganise the world’s industrial system with distributed manufacturing. Think about the coffee cups you get from your local Starbucks. They are made from petrol extracted in Saudi Arabia, which has taken nature one million years to produce (!), this is then shipped to China to be turned into those plastic covers, then reshipped across the world. Think of all the resources used for items with an average lifespan of 15 seconds for an espresso cup. There is such a waste in our current system, that we desperately need a transition. A transition towards decentralised, on-demand manufacturing which has access to common global knowledge, using only what we need, with biodegradable and modular constituents, rather than ‘planned obsolescence’.

I am not at all against globalization, quite the contrary. However, concerning physical goods we need to relocate production. It is absurd that a tennis ball used in a Wimbledon match has travelled 40’000km during its production.

To lower this growth of our usage of materials to under 1%, the mutualisation of goods is our best way forward. A shared car can replace a very large number of individual cars for example. We need to apply this principle systematically.

Les intervjuet!

– Michel Bauwens on the Commons Transition

En ny verdensorden må være kosmolokal! Dette vil si at kunnskap er fri og global, uten patenter og betalingsvegger, hvor man bygger globale kunnskapsnettverk åpne for alle.

Produksjonen relokaliseres derimot. Hvilket vil si at en bil som skal benyttes på Gjøvik, bygges på Gjøvik!

We are currently experiencing both a failure of the State and of the market, and so we need new initiatives from civil society to address and solve these issues. I can give you an example: Wikispeed is a community project that has led to a car that claims to be five times more fuel-efficient than any other on the market but, they can’t seem to gain interest from financiers because they refuse to use patents, and so their ‘business model’ is teaching their method, which means such a car is not being produced.

Allikevel vil vi ikke bygge mange biler, fordi biler MÅ deles. At alle skal ha hver sin bil er totalt horribelt. Først og fremst må vi bygge gangbare byer, slik at byene stenges for annet enn nyttetransport. Hamburg er på god veg! De bilene vi trenger, f.eks. for å besøke slekt i utilgjengelige dalfører, må være del av allmenningene, ikke private statussymboler. Selv i dagens situasjon kunne vi med enkelhet ha redusert biltettheten til 1/13-del ved felles delingsplattformer.

Oppsummering for de nye allmenninger:

A) Fri flyt av kunnskap og globale kunnskapsnettverk.

B) Lokal produksjon av gods.

C) Maksimal deling. Slutt på privat hytte, privatbil og annet. Inn med DNT, bilringer, felleshager, lommetun, o.l.

prague_praha_2014_holmstad_ugly_cars_opt
Hvor mye vakrere ville ikke denne vakre gata i Mala Strana, Praha, vært uten alle de stygge bilene!
Fra en diskusjon om allmenningene

Achsel Ford responderte til min kommentar her.

Han innrømmer i sitt svar at han kan høres ut som en høyremann, noe han har helt rett i. Men så er da heller ikke Garret Hardins essay annet enn Fake News og propaganda, og har ingenting med allmenningenes tragedie å gjøre. At AF også har latt seg forføre viser bare i hvor ekstrem grad Hardin har lyktes i å implementere sitt falske MEME i vår underbevissthet!

Tilsvar A til AF

Her er du dessverre et offer for Fake News. Garret Hardins berømte essay fra 1968 er reinspika propaganda og et av historiens verste eksempler på Fake News, som har blitt et narrativ og en sannhet.

Hardin beskriver ikke allmenningene, ei heller ikke allmenningenes tragedie, fordi en allmenning er ikke et «free access regime», som er hva Hardin virkelig beskriver. En allmenning er ikke en allmenning uten et eierskap, altså verbet «commoning». Uten «commoning» eksisterer ikke «the Commons». Commoning er den aktive forvaltningen av et commons. Dessverre har vi ikke et godt verb for “commoning” i det norske språket.

Les mer om «The tragedy of the tragedy of the commons» her.

David Bollier forklarer også disse sammenhengene i sitt intervju hos Levevei.

Ellers forundrer det meg at en selverklært anarkist har så lite tro på anarkismens iboende skaperkraft. Wikispeed har vist at en desentralisert bilproduksjon er fullt mulig, søk deg opp på p2p-wikien. Desentralisert bilproduksjon og vareproduksjon kan akselereres ytterligere så snart man blir kvitt patentregimet etc, som legger alvorlige hindringer på den menneskelige kreativitet.

Les deg også opp på arbeidene til anarkisten Kevin Carson hos p2p-foundation, som mener at en desentralisert vareproduksjon er uunngåelig.

– The Desktop Regulatory State: Kevin Carson’s new book on Open Source Government

Tviler på at Zappa har lest boka til Bongard, ergo så har han ikke peiling. Mennesker liker bling-bling, men i inngruppa gir vulgær materialisme ingen status, dette funker best i massesamfunn.

Jeg er kosmolokalist. Lommedemokratiet til Bongard vil utvilsomt være kosmolokalt!

Tilsvar B til AF

For meg framstår du mer og mer som en god norsk suburbanitt, og det blir stadig klarere at du, i likhet med nordmenn flest, neppe ville passe særlig godt i et lommenabolag. Heldig er du! I Norge i dag finnes ikke et eneste skikkelig lommetun, mens det suburbane ødeland omringer alle norske byer i kilometers omkrets, dekker det meste av fjellheimen og har gjort sørlandskysten nærmest uframkommelig etter land.

Igjen velger jeg å gå til Kunstler:

«This is embodied today in the popular phrase, “You can’t tell me what to do with my land.” The “you” here might be a neighbor, the community, or the government. The government’s power to regulate land use was limited under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the constitution. The Fifth states that private property cannot be taken for public use without due process of law and just compensation — the right to public hearings and payment at market value — and the Fourteenth reiterates the due process clause. All subsequent land-use law in America has hinged on whether it might deprive somebody of the economic value of their land.

America’s were the most liberal property laws on Earth when they were established. The chief benefits were rapid development of the wilderness, equal opportunity for those with cash and/or ambition, simplicity of acquisition, and the right to exploitation — such as chopping down all the virgin white pine forests of Michigan (they called it “mining trees”). Our laws gave the individual clear title to make his own decisions, but they also deprived him of the support of community and the presence of sacred places.

The identification of this extreme individualism of property ownership with all that is sacred in American life has been the source of many of the problems I shall describe in the pages that follow. Above all, it tends to degrade the idea of the public realm, and hence of the landscape tissue that ties together the thousands of pieces of private property that make up a town, a suburb, a state. It also degrades the notion that the private individual has a responsibility to this public realm — or, to put it another way, that the public realm is the physical manifestation of the common good.

Tocqueville observed this when he toured America in 1831. “Individualism,” he wrote, “at first, only saps the virtues of public life; but in the long run it attacks and destroys all others and is at length absorbed in selfishness.” – Extracted from James Howard Kunstler‘s book “The Geography of Nowhere: The Rise and Decline of America’s Man-Made Landscape“, pages 26-27.

Ja, det lommetunet jeg ønsker å leve i er designet etter lommenøklene til Ross Chapin, og her setter man fellesrommet foran den private sfære, og biofilia foran komfort. Man har hele vegen gradvise overganger mellom det private og fellesrommet i hjertet, hvor man hele tiden forsøker å tilfredsstille egne behov samtidig som man beriker fellesskapet. De som ikke ønsker dette har millioner og atter millioner av suburbane bunkere spredt utover Norge og USA, hvor de kan trekke seg tilbake og realisere sine individuelle prosjekter og preferanser, uten å behøve å tenke på at man er del av et fellesskap.

Heldigvis finnes det enkelte selv i Norge som drømmer om å finne tilbake til tunfellesskapet, jeg kom faktisk over en sjelsfrende i dag tidlig.

– Lommenabolaget som ideal

Mitt ideal er lommenabolaget, og jeg er overbevist om at Ross Chapin har gjort et fantastisk nybrotts- og forskningsarbeid for hvordan et godt lommenabolag bør bygges opp. De som ikke deler dette idealet vil jeg vennligst be om å trekke seg tilbake så langt inn i det suburbane helvetet, eller Suburban Hell som urbanisten Nathan Lewis omtaler det, som det er mulig å komme. Ikke ødelegg lommetunet mitt med deres suburbane idealer!

Litt å tenke på fra intervjuet med Michel Bauwens

Secondly, we have to consider the way we collectively use the Planet’s resources. Some figures tell us that we are currently using 1.5 Planet Earth’s worth of resources every year, but others, from REBus for example, have calculated that we are using 3 Planets worth of raw materials. So, the sharing and mutualisation of resources is vital to our survival. According to the study of the French engineer Francois Grosse, who was asked to do this by Veolia, the circular economy cannot work if the growth of consumption of raw material is above 1% per year. If we grow more, we can only postpone ‘peak resources’ for maximum 60 years. We simply cannot maintain a modern civilization at the current rate of resource usage.

Some people are afraid that this would reduce innovation. Actually, the opposite is true. There is more innovation before and after a patent than during its lifespan. The patent only allows a company time to recuperate its investment in research in development, which does work but only during the initial 5 years. I am not for the eradication of patents but for example the reduction of their length and I am for the restriction of the duration of copyright terms, which are now an absurd 90 years after the death of a composer, which mostly serve to make money for corporations late after an artist’s death.

The solution for me is to use open cooperatives: coops that create commons and those commons then need to be integrated into generative business models. This can be applied to machines as well. The problem is not automation, bu that the gains of automation are not put in the productive economy, but in the speculative activities, creating huge inflation in housing and other non-productive stocks. In contrast, if the machines are owned by the direct producers, the surplus can be re-invested in new activities.

Surprisingly in the world today, there are more people who work for coops than for multinationals. A French study I believe has proved that ecologic coops have a lifespan 3 to 5 times greater than their purely for profit start-up counterparts. So, the change I am describing is not going to be easy but neither is it impossible. Through mutualisation we can achieve lower production costs which make these models competitive.

Nobody knows where this will lead to but I believe we are slowly moving to a post-Westphalian model. Our time resembles the 16th century in a way. Before the Peace of Westphalia, there were many forms of public governance: Germany was somewhat of a feudal federation, you had the Hanseatic League, city-states in Italy, etc. Before the hegemony of the Westphalian State model, there were many models and we may be returning to such a plurality of models, at least during this time of transition.

I like quoting Antonio Gramsci: “The old world is dying, and the new world struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters”. He said this to describe fascism but today, one can wonder if it doesn’t apply to right-wing movements of national-protectionism that we see with Trump, Brexit, Marine Le Pen in France, etc. I doubt that these reactionary movements or a continuation of neo-liberal deregulation are realistic given their consistent failures of such a long period of time. Cosmo-localisation would be for me a better way forward.

UBI gives the opportunity to an increase minority of people to finance their transition. I believe UBI is a transitional demand to allow people to develop a more social-oriented life. On the other hand, the Job-Guarantee scheme remains within the existing societal system which has too many external negative externalities. Within our given context, UBI is a better solution but I do not know how realistic it is so, I prefer to speak of “Transitional Income”. By which I mean, that society decides to transition from our current Market / State bipolar system to one with the added Civil Society power balance – and I am happy to witness a growing number of people who wish this – and society decides to subsidise let’s say 10% of people to work out the transition. The way I imagine it would be to start creating Common platforms (of food, clothing, housing, etc.) and redesign the way these sectors are currently structured to minimise their negative external impacts on society and the environment.

There is a historic precedent to all this. If during the Middle Ages, people were capable with their limited education and means to subsidise 15% to 25% of people to exit the feudal system and work as monks, we should be capable to do the same today for the survival of the species. The argument that we cannot “afford” to finance a UBI or any other scheme enabling the transition is a false argument, since we are massively subsidising the banks through compound interest. It is just a question of priority.

The way we see things is to change through “seed forms”. By which I mean, that when a crisis arises, people try to find solutions. Because of the systemic nature of our current crisis, the solutions we need to adopt must come from outside our current framework. We will find our solutions in seed form among social innovations. For example, during the feudal systemic crisis at the end of the Middle Ages, we see the creation of Italian City States which laid the groundwork for capitalism, through the creation of accountancy, financial instruments like bonds, etc.

I believe we are witnessing today the seeds of the “Commons system”, a system centred around Commons which doesn’t mean that will be the only economic or governance form. There will still be States and a Market, it is just a question of what the centre of the system will be. Today, we are centred around the market, tomorrow, I believe we will be centred around Commons, as Paul Mason and Jeremy Rifkin have also been predicting.

We can’t predict the future but we can analyse in detail what is happening. Oikos, a Belgian ecological think tank, showed in a study recently that in the last ten years, civil and citizen initiatives have increase 10-fold. This was confirmed by other studies. So, at the very least for western cities, in particular in Europe, we are seeing a real explosion of alternatives. In East-Asia for example, Taiwan also shows some very interesting examples in terms of civil governance. I just finished a project which analyzed 40 urban commons project, half of these from the Global South, so it is really happening across the globe to some extent at least.

We need to develop alternatives so that when crises hit, we have them available as prototypes that others can learn from. Similar to the monastic world which offered a way out of the war-based Roman economy in crisis at the time, and eventually led to feudal economies with a entirely different functioning based on local domains and production. Jean Gimpel gives a very interesting description of this transition in his book La révolution industrielle du Moyen Âge. In it, he shows that 90% of technical innovations at the time came out of monasteries. They did this at a cost which was much lower than that of the Roman elite.

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