P2P SYSTEMS AND THE CAPITALISM/COMMUNISM DICHOTOMY
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There's an interesting state of being that's emerging that is changing our ideas of human interactions. On one hand you have capitalism, the ability to freely choose our own financial destinies. To live, work and trade based on individual choices. On the other side, you also have communism, the idea that we should all share, for the greater good (though often controlled by a small elite).

Obviously these are gross over simplifications, but with decentralized and distributed technologies you have a new third way of being. It came to my attention while listening to the sense-talking, bow-tie wearing master of economics, Jeffrey Tucker. He made an off-the-cuff comment about how free and open source P2P protocols are making us re-evaluate this age old dichotomy.

CONTROL

One of the intriguing aspects of the new decentralized, distributed mega trend is that no single entity owns or controls these new technologies (much to the disdain of many powerful actors). There are still developers (and potentially anyone) who can add or subtract to software protocols, but the thing is that none of the users have to accept the changes, similar to the saying vote with your wallet.

Once protocols are pushed out into the world if it's complete, in theory no changes would need to be made. They are simultaneously owned by the whole of humanity and no-one at all, something totally new for the world.

This is as a direct result of the existence of centralized institutions of all kinds. Their very existence means that more often than not, centralized technologies that were once prone to being attacked or shut down by whomever the technology could have angered are now protected since no-one owns it and there is nothing to shut down. In most situations the creators do not profit directly from their creations.

TOTALLY FREE, BUT ENABLING ENTREPRENEURSHIP

So despite the fact that no-one owns this new breed of technology, something else that is very cool is that even though they are usually completely free to use by anyone, anywhere, they also serve as the building blocks for entrepreneurship, stimulating entire new capitalist economies, as well as other free to use products and services.

Multiple distributed technologies will prove to be the foundation of countless future businesses, similar to how other open source software projects power a lot of our current technology, but differing in the fact that these new players are potentially completely distributed.

A THIRD WAY?

Maybe this is just an extension of free market capitalism, but whatever label you give it, it feels like an important development that is distinct from the way things have been up until now.

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BY NODE