I have lot of sympathy for Matt Slater's arguments for Protocol Cooperativism. This is essentially the songbook I was singing from, since the late 90s, and throughout my time working on the Aotearoa localizations of and . But in hindsight, those songs were naive. As Matt points out within his own essay, capitalists have already figured out ways to dominate open networks based on open protocols (eg Microsoft's "embrace, extend, extinguish"). Ownership matters.

@strypey

Have capitalists dominated the fediverse yet?

Or SSB?

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@bhaugen
> Have capitalists dominated the fediverse yet?

Not yet, but what's stopping them? History makes it clear that relying on the decentralized nature of the protocol is not enough. If we don't want the going the way of email (vast majority of users on a handful of ), we need ways to ensure that both software development and the deployment of non-capitalist instances are economically sustainable. The point I was making was that is one way to do that.

@strypey

Economic sustainability in a capitalist economy is tricky. Cooperatives find themselves immersed in capitalism and then infected, maybe in the first place by needing to get money from either capitalist markets or competing for investments or grants, which are never as close to "free money" as they might seem.

It's all tradeoffs and good strategy and good tactical maneuvers.

@strypey

> It's all tradeoffs and good strategy and good tactical maneuvers.

And collective and personal mental transformation...

@bhaugen this reminds me of the discussion that started here:
mastodon.nzoss.nz/@strypey/101

... where I started out disagreeing with @matslats and then realized we were both arguing for the same thing ;-)
@Matt_Noyes

@bhaugen sorry, ambiguous sentence, what I meant was that what @matslats was advocating in his piece turned out (once I read it properly) to be the same thing I was arguing ;-)
@Matt_Noyes

@bhaugen
This is true, yet the cooperative form is still far, far better than any other form of economic organisation as it has democratic values baked in by default. Also, cooperatives are a good way to exploit the capitalist obsession about private property and entrepreneurship in our favor: by posing as "businesses" FOSS projects would be harder to attack as dismantling them would appear as an attack on people doing business, a taboo under capitalism
@strypey

@Antanicus

I agree.

I hope it is clear from lots of other toots that I like cooperatives. Ain't nothing pure in this world. All tradeoffs.

@strypey

@bhaugen
Agreed, it is very important (especially for some on the left, who appear to be lost in a quest for pureness) to accept that compromise is part of life and sometimes the only way forward.

@strypey

@Antanicus THIS! 1000 times this! Cooperatives are a kind of anticapitalist aikido. They *both* help us improve our lives in the here and now, *and* prefigure post-capitalist democratic economies (at least in a larval way), all while posing as business-as-usual in a way that's hard to justify attacking (openly).
@bhaugen

@strypey
I argued in favor of replacing the BDFL model in FOSS with cooperative ownership for years, it's good to see the idea is slowly making its way into the discourse.
We can no longer afford the "rockstar developer" complex.

@bhaugen

@Antanicus my position on that is some from column A, some from column B. Some developers don't play well with others, and simply do better work in the BDFL model. Others do well in consensus-based teams like . I don't see any need to impose external control on how developer-workers organize themselves. But there's a difference between core development and *deployment*, especially when deploying server-based software as online services. That's where shine.
@bhaugen

@strypey @Antanicus

"deploying server-based software as online services. That's where #PlatformCooperatives shine"

It's also nice to have cooperative hosting organizations that do not impose a platform, either offering a selection of hosted apps or host-your-own, and both are even better.

@bhaugen I'm still not clear on how you're defining "platform" here, because everything you describe is a kind of platform. In my mind, platform just means anything you can build something else on top of. So almost everything except end user apps is a kind of platform.
@Antanicus

@strypey @Antanicus

I described how I think about the difference between protocol, framework, and platform here:
loomio.org/d/SU1KiLVn/holo/16

In the context of discussions here, Facebook or Uber's app are examples of platforms. So a platform cooperative might create a cooperative ride-sharing app.

You may disagree, but that's what I meant.

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