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.

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Have capitalists dominated the fediverse yet?


> 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.


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.

@bhaugen this reminds me of the discussion that started here:

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


@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 ;-)

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