Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Multitude Revolution is a natural, inevitable process

The Multitude Movement was accelerated in recent years by the introduction of a new potent technology, which induces fundamental material changes, new possibilities, and transforms the way value is produced and distributed in our society. It is a natural and inevitable process, a pragmatic revolution, a constructive revolution.

Some scholars attache great importance to the invention of the birth control pill in the feminist movement. In essence, it is a technology which gives women the choice to keep or not to keep their unborn baby. Without minimizing its ethical implications, the point I want to make is that this pill introduces a new material possibility, a new alternative for women, making them able to decide if they engage or not in a long-term relationship with a man. It fundamentally changes the relationship between a man and a woman. Once this pill is made available it operates irreversible social changes, as women realize the shift in the balance of relational forces, which is in their advantage, and massively adopt a new attitude.

The Industrial Revolution was set in motion by the electro-mechanical technology, which fundamentally transformed the way the economy worked. The leading societies at that time went from an agrarian economy to a predominantly manufacturing economy. As the new means of production and distribution of value were spreading, the locus of economical power shifted. The small artisan became the manufacturer and snatched the political power from the hands of the landlord, to share it with other players occupying key positions within the new economical system, the bankers, the energy producers, the distributors, etc. Together, they changed society by creating new institutions tuned with their new reality.

There was no ideological bases to the industrial revolution. It was a natural and inevitable process set in motion by a new technology, by the introduction of new material possibilities. We can say that the French revolution was mostly ideologically driven and contained the seeds of the new industrial order. But because the material conditions were not there when it happened it rapidly degraded back into tyranny, and went back and forth a few times until it finally took roots.

The technology behind the new wave of the Multitude Movement is one that enables efficient circulation of information and that enhances coordination throughout society, down to the level of the individual. The material possibilities it introduces are one-to-one, one to many and many-to-many exchanges of all sorts, and massive collaboration with no geographical barriers. It creates the possibility for open and decentralized collaborative systems to emerge as an alternative to closed hierarchies, for the production and distribution of value. Its effects are to empower the individual, to set us free from centralized and monopolistic systems.

By allowing different forms of organization and by creating an environment in which sharing and openness are rewarded, the new technology changes the way value is created and distributed in our society. Economical power is shifting hands, NOT by putting new people in charge of the same levers of power, but by dissolving the classic levers of power and by creating new ones, for a newly emerging system. Old processes are overpowered by new ones. Those who are still in control of the old ones will soon find themselves powerless.

Ideological revolutions that are not based on changes in material possibilities, like the Bolshevik Revolution for example, are basically a fight between different social classes for the control of the same levers of power. They entail a direct confrontation to control the same means of production. The new wave of the Multitude Movement is not in direct opposition to the establishment. It develops on a newly emerging parallel structure, which gradually replaces the old one.  

Multitude is a massive and powerful but almost clueless Revolution

The Multitude Revolution is a pragmatic revolution. Most people engage in it without even realizing. They are naturally drawn towards the new things simply because they find value in them. We go to Wikipedia because we find it convenient and useful. We stopped watching TV because we find more substance in alternative media. We invest in solar technology because it is cheaper, convenient and it sets us free from the centralized and monopolistic systems of energy production and distribution. We use alternative currencies and financing mechanisms because we get a better deal than at the bank. We use Gnu/Linux because it is more robust than Windows. Every time you engage in the creation, improvement or maintenance of democratic and popular systems that allow peer-to-peer exchanges you contribute to the Multitude Revolution. Every time you chose to use such systems over the other ones you contribute to the Multitude Revolution.

Multitude Project's mission is to raise awareness about this movement.

By AllOfUs