Global Megacrisis and the P2P Response

by Michel Bauwens


The world today is confronting not one crisis, but possibly several at the same time. Each crisis has different temporal aspects, but all are involved in different subphases of development. The most evident crisis is the crisis of one form of the capitalist system, which I would like to correlate with the Kondratieff cycles. As outlined in Carlota Perez’ book, TECHNOLOGICAL REVOLUTIONS AND FINANCIAL CAPITAL, Kondratieff cycles have a positive and productive high-growth phase, and a financialized, predatory, non-productive phase of decline and slow growth, with the totality of these two subphases ending with a “Sudden Systemic Shock”. Examples of such crisis were 1873, 1929, and 2008. What we witnessed was the end of one such Kondratieff cycle, which means that the old synergy of productive elements cannot possibly work in the next phase. Typically, Sudden System Shocks are followed by on average 15 years of dislocation, deleveraging, social crisis and chaos, until they are superseded with a new constellation of productive elements, forming a new logic of accumulation. Such a scenario would mean that we have entered such a period of chaos, but that we may get out of it after a certain period of pain.(continue…)

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