P2P Reflection

1)    One example that I can pull from my life that ties together with the examples of P2P comes from my involvement with Greek life. On campus I’m part of a fraternity and we use the P2P system to solve many of our problems. While I must say that at the end of the day it is a capitalist business, but I would say that’s just a top down view. When you get into behind the scenes of the stuff that we do, you will find that we use resources that each of us have to come together to put on larger things that we wouldn’t be able to accomplish on our own. Whether it be as simple as using somebody’s truck to pick up big things to using someone’s complete DJ equipment to cut the cost of either hiring someone or the cost of renting or owning expensive equipment ourselves. One of the best ways that I would say that Greek life exemplifies the P2P principle is the way in which different organizations come together and work with one another. Even though we thrive off of the P2P system is do believe that due to the society we live in that we would be able to continuously function without the possession of money. In my opinion we could all live and survive off of the P2P principles but it seems to be an all or nothing kind of thing, where we can only achieve self-sustainability if we all come together and put the principles to motion.

 

2)     When looking through the examples and doing some research I found a quote that really made me think about what it really means to be in a P2P economy. The article states that,”A peer-to-peer (P2P) economy is a decentralized model whereby two individuals interact to buy or sell goods and services directly with each other, without an intermediary third-party, or without the use of a company of business”. According to this definition you could technically describe almost every interaction as P2P. This definition unlike many others allows for some minor capitalism to remain. This completely changes the way in which we think about the P2P principle as the underlying issue that remained about what we would do without money disappears. With that being said we could still allow for some world trade and a decrease in the need for isolationism would occur. This will in turn create a network much stronger than that of a P2P society that tries to completely get rid of capitalism. Although this new idea of P2P sounds good and like it would work really well, I personally feel like it would be way more interesting to see how long a community could last with a completely capitalism free P2P economy.

 

3)     There are many alternatives to the basic capitalist model that a good amount of governments have been following for years. Most of the alternatives have been abolished by many of the nations that use them, due to the poor treatment of citizens that it comes with. For example there are not nearly as many monarchies left standing strong in the world. Monarchies are some of the oldest forms of government and this is due to the fact the power never shifts, power runs down blood lines usually until a revolution or liberation. In my opinion monarchies do in fact have some aspects of capitalism in the sense that there are business that sell products for a potential profit. But where they separate is in the freedom of services and business, this means that unlike in America it doesn’t matter how much money you will ever make you will never be higher up on the totem poll than the class above you, and at any time the government can monitor your business and its profits. This to me defeats the elements of capitalism that a monarchy has because in this system you could work hard all your life but then the king decides he wants the profits from your farm or even worse he wants the whole farm. Another form of government that combats the ideas of capitalism, is the system of communism. I find communism to be very interesting because it seems to carry a little bit of every system. That being you can have your own business and you can attempt to better your living standard through profits, but at the same time there is an all powerful government that dictates the way the community is run. One of the more obvious ways that it is different from capitalism, is that the word commune is in the name itself. This is shown through the ideal that most people in the community, government excluded are equal and share everything. Although I do enjoy some of the aspects that communism has that fight traditional capitalism, I feel as though it’s too unstable to work for most countries that already have freedoms like the United States.

 

4)     When wright says that only taming and eroding capitalism will work he is saying that we cannot simply destroy it and quit it cold turkey, and that we can’t just run away from it. The reasons we are not able to just destroy capitalism all at once is because it’s ideals and structure are so ingrained in our society that we could face catastrophic failure. For example when everybody invested in the banks and put their money into the stock market without security, a great depression arose when the system crashed. This would be just a small part of the failure that would occur if we were to just demolish capitalism all together, just think if all of a sudden we were to just take all the value out of our money. I feel that the best way to try to transition to  completely capitalist free P2P economy is to erode the capitalism as Wright talks about. I feel that this is the best way to transition because this method takes a few of the good principles of destroying capitalism but it allows for community acclimation time. This means that we would give people time to adjust to each step in the transition. For example we would maybe stop collecting food waste in trash cans to create better composting one week, then the next week we would eliminate plastic disposable dishware to fight harmful plastics. I feel if we take some some steps in increments we can reach the desired P2P community we have been talking about.