Dual Power

a guest Aug 15th, 2012 48 Never
  1. In dual power, the activity of a nascent mass movement shifts from squatting and occupations of public parks, to the formation of workers' co-operatives in stable spaces safe from eviction.
  3. Collective vehicle pools can be established for transporting people and materiel between urban and rural. When a geographically dense network of co-operatives is established, peoples' assemblies can stabilize and grow in importance in towns and urban neighborhoods.
  5. Flying squads of engineers can document step-by-step instructions and open source business models for economically viable co-operative enterprises for lifetime design infrastructure that can be improved modularly and iteratively over time. This level of information sharing constitutes an immediate and potentially explosive grounds for improvement over the capitalist mode of secretive R&D and planned obsolescence.
  7. Opposition to outside statist and capitalist incursion can stabilize over time and the resource conflicts that presently organize themselves along identity politics and class lines can begin to be dealt with in a more permanent way under modes of production and exchange appropriate to the nascent second power, as well as provide a new platform for new bugs in capitalism to be exploited as well as the old ones including trade and traditional industrial unionization.
  9. And the network of co-operatives may themselves vertically and horizontally integrate into a new industrial union. Mobile tool lending libraries, free stores stocked with abandoned plasma tvs and refurbished laptops, increasingly automated urban farms and kitchens and digital fabrication workshops would involve less specialization and atomization of the people who own and operate them, so that the same people spraypainting a unified industrial civilization starter kit the green and black of social ecology might also be growing the very soil beneath the grass roots of the red socialist radish.
  11. Rather than unionize a nuclear bomb plant for the purposes of taking it over and merely increasing efficient production, and similarly as the socialization of a stairmaster factory or the collectivization of an advertising agency serves no social purpose, we should recognize how much of present capitalist engineering marvels would actually be more useful if melted down to their constituent parts or parceled off as merely a set of computers than they would be if seized and "used" for socialist production.
  13. In these cases the appropriate organization of labor is for people to quit their jobs and produce the range of use-values decentrally and collectively planned to meet the needs of a denizens of a dual power organized along lines of a highly modularized, generalized and networked industrial and agricultural self-sufficiency, with extensive economies of scope replacing some economies of scale. This means efficiency through engineering the same physical capital for variety of production and quick change-over rather than specialization.
  15. The practical questions of where does one get the material resources (mostly motors, pumps, metal and electronics) as well as the land/space is a question for communities to answer themselves iteratively, over time, in the expanding network of meeting and organizing spaces this activity produces.
  17. As for what business models are currently available along these lines, Arduino, Wikispeed, RepRap and Open Source Ecology provide key insights. In fact Open Source Ecology already has experience building and integrating the other three and they can be reasonably considered to be the center of gravity of the open online technological repository for such efforts.
  19. To the extent this new mode of production is successful, we can expect it to be adopted to some extent by corporate interests. But some of these cases of adoption will feed backward as positive benefits to the movement as secretive corporate improvements are reverse-engineered by the global open engineering community.
  21. It is important to develop new open business models as the old niches get saturated, as Mondragon for instance has endeavored to do, but because production is now geared towards the uses of products to the movement rather than their profitability for sale in a market, overproduction to a point of profitability becomes a boon rather than a hindrance to growth of the movement.
  23. This is the dialectical tension between the two modes of open and proprietary production, one being the capitalist integument of the other, where particularly organized labor, who could walk out of production if educated to do so, can now find itself aware of itself as a class which is revolutionary to the extent that it can insulate itself from its immiserated state not just for the days or weeks of a strike, but permanently, as part of both online communities and physical regionally based enclaves accelerating towards and, before long, well beyond technological parity with their capitalist competitors, as their consumption and income becomes disentangled from the M->C-M' circuit of capital over to the C->M->C' circuit production for human needs.
  25. Still, all of this must now emerge from a distributed hyperconnected virtual region inhabited by people of radical consciousness and whom are not yet living and working together in relative security from immiseration and their general inability to live in any other form than as individual atoms.
  27. As the network of co-operatives touches base with unionized workers at more and more points, both the unions and radicals working outside the money economy could benefit. The unions can be invigorated by a portion of the population that already has no institutional reason to fear Taft Hartley, who know the fault lines of the contradictions of open dissemination versus proprietary hoarding.
  29. And the expanding network of co-operatives can be invigorated by the connection of industrial workers with the current means of production and all the knowledge, experience and discpline that entails. In short, developments along these lines can serve to develop the resource security for those who would not bow down to the bosses, bosses whose surplus extraction may soon serve only to command commodities which are already free.
  31. Already transportation and distribution are becoming a greater share of energy and labor inputs owing to simultaneous increase in the price of oil and the globalization of supply chains, leaving fertile ground for green economies of scope rather than scale.
  33. The truckers will be replaced by remotely operated Google cars anyway! And the means by which to automate their own jobs out of existence will shortly thereafter be available not just to them but to anyone, including building a street legal car and operational GPS unit from scratch! Had they not better re-invent themselves into something remunerative like workrs' co-operatives for energy infrastructure installation and fuel production?
  35. The information revolution is making 3D printing, digital fabrication and localized modularization competitive for start-ups.
  37. These technologies should be of interest to the workers whose jobs they will replace! Even your chains will soon be able to be 3D printed (in stainless steel powder that is infused with bronze) if you do not lose them quickly!
  39. The actual radical consciousness of such a movement will be in flux, of course. If the content is more important than the forms, then it is crucial to infuse thse forms with as much radically transformative content as possible because the movement I have described is not hypothetical but is now proceeding apace. Freedom needs your genius!
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