For too long, discussions about how blockchain software could change the world have been dominated by libertarian-minded techies and market-driven startups. No wonder they are dazzled by Bitcoin, the currency for capitalist speculation, and by turbo-charged networked markets.
This approach has left a huge void in our thinking about alternative futures -- ones that could be progressive, cooperative, and collectively emancipatory, and not just the next, more stifling iteration of capitalism. We need to ask: What sorts of systems might be possible if we were to design new tech platforms and protocols to facilitate commoning?
How refreshing that we now have some answers. The basic idea is to create variations on a new institutional form, the “Distributed Cooperative Organization,” or DisCO. Check out 80 riveting pages on this topic, an extended essay entitled, “If I Only Had a Heart: The DisCO Manifesto,” published by the Guerrilla Media Collective in collaboration with the Transnational Institute.
The authors of this essay are my friends and colleagues Stacco Troncoso (lead author) and Ann Marie Utratel (coauthor and lead editor). Both have long worked with the P2P Foundation, Commons Transition, Guerrilla Translation and Guerrilla Media Collective groups. (Full disclosure: I gave the authors some comments on early drafts.)