Introduction to the Partner State

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The Partner State is the concept whereby public authorities play a sustaining role in the 'direct creation of value by civil society', i.e. sustains and promotes commons-based Peer Production

Opinions on the Partner State

Tommaso Fattori:"The partner state includes the welfare state"

"Bauwens points out that, to avoid the risk that the concept of partner state be confused with plans to dismantle the welfare state, along the “big society” model: “the peer production of common value requires civic wealth and strong civic institutions. In other words, the partner state concept transcends and includes the best of the welfare state, such as the social solidarity mechanisms, strong educational systems and a vibrant and publicly supported cultural life. What the British Tories did was to use the Big Society rhetoric to attempt to further weaken the remnants of social solidarity, and throw people to fend for themselves. This was not enabling and empowering; it was its opposite.”

Silke Helfrich on state support for the commons

"For me the role of the state is at least fourfold:

Not only

  • to stop enclosures, but to trigger the production/construction

of new commons by

  • (co-) management of complexe resource systems which are not limited to

local boundaries or specific communities (as manager and partner)

  • survey of rules (chartas) to care for the commons (mediator or judge)
  • kicking of or providing incentives for commoners governing their

commons - here the point is to design intelligent rules which automatically protect the commons, like the GPL does (facilitator)"

(email, September 2009)

Dmytri Kleiner

From an interview conducted by KMO, of the C-Realm Podcast:

"Is there any point in trying to request that the state serve the ends of a peer-to-peer society, or is the state completely at odds with that by definition?

There are a number of threads in the overall strategy that I think are necessary. On one hand, we need venture communism, which means independent, federated entrepreneurship along communist principles. But on the other hand, the state does exist, and I believe that we can’t just imagine that we live in a future state-less society. We have to understand what the state provides now, and we have to struggle within the state as a theater of struggle as well, to get what we can out of it. So I would say yes, but that it really depends on where you are.

In principle, if you look at public funding for other kinds of media, like film, television, and movies, in many cases there’s been quite significant public involvement in the development of those media. So, do I think that there is the prospect for public involvement in funding of social media for a positive impact? Certainly, but, in an era where we’re still not out of the neoliberal phase of history, in an era where governments don’t even want to pay for schools and housing and education and roads, the idea that they will suddenly become interested in paying for social media seems unlikely. So, it doesn’t seem to be a prospect that I have a lot of confidence will actually come about, though it could come about, and if it did, it could be positive. Perhaps, especially in areas that are trying to assert their independence from global neoliberalism, like South and Central America for instance, perhaps they will understand the public need to finance social media in the same way that they finance their broadcast media and their film media." Source: "Venture Communism and Technological Miscommunication: a conversationn with Dmytri Kleiner"