Michel Bauwens: Towards the Democratization of the Means of Monetization – The Three Competing Value Models Present Within Cognitive Capitalism

03 Economy, Civil Society, Commerce, Cultural Intelligence
Michel Bauwens
Michel Bauwens

Towards the Democratization of the Means of Monetization: The Three Competing Value Models Present Within Cognitive Capitalism

The Problematic: the value crisis

In the 19th century, the counter-hegemonic forces of labour focused on the democratisation of the state as well as focusing on the redistribution of the surplus value created by labour. Both tasks are by no means obsolete given the evolution towards market state models which have hollowed out popular democracy, as well ans the increased role of debt in human exploitation1. However, what is now needed in addition, for and by 21st century social movements, is the democratisation of the means of monetization. In a contributive economy, use value becomes key, and undermines mechanisms based on labor value alone; value must therefore become pluralistic and diverse, and so must monetary means; while undoubtedly, demonetization will be a good thing in many sectors under a regime of civic domination, we will also need new forms of monetization, and restore the feedback loop between value creation and value capture. As we will argue, the current value regime, which we call ‘cognitive capitalism under the emergence of netarchical capitalism’ (see infra), is unable to redistribute value in a fair way, and is creating not just a crisis of social reproduction for working people, but also a crisis of accumulation of capital. In our article, value and money regimes are placed in the context of the evolution of the overall political economy toward an increasing importance of models based on peer production. We will look at what kind of social system and policy transition, that can solve this crisis of value.

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