Power

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An agents's ability to act on a process or resource. It is different from influence.

This is about power relations within OVNs, which are p2p, network-type organizations, open (permissionless) and fully transparent.


It is important to realize that the p2p movement erodes or eliminates instituted relations of power. In other words, p2p is essentially about doing things together based on value-based relations, not on power-based relations.


Definition of power

Wikipedia definition of power

Instituted power

From Multitude Manifesto

Institutional power is one’s ability to affect someone else's life, granted by formal rules within an organization, or in society at large. It is the power of a policeman to arrest you, and the power of a judge to put you in prison. It is the power of your boss to hire or to fire you from your job. Assuming that the rules have a rational basis and are based on sound ethical considerations, the exercise of formal power is usually framed, but that doesn’t eliminate the abuse of power, which is the exercise of someone’s will beyond the provisions of the instituted power relation. Rage, nepotism, physical and psychological abuse, are all symptoms of abuse of instituted power. An abuse of power can be exercised through the application of unfair rules, through a voluntary misinterpretation of rules, through malicious manipulation of facts (or evidence) to construe an apparent violation of rules, or even through the non application of existing rules (ignoring the rules).

OVNs are organizational structures that try to eliminate instituted power relations through the creation of permissionless collaboration spaces that are regulated through formal protocols, which constitute (economic) games. People are in our out of the game based on how well they play the game, not based on someone's will that decides who should be in our out of the game. When it comes to planning and allocation of time on tasks, OVNs rely less on planning and more on stigmergy.

Dimensions of power

To be completed - see Multitude Manifesto

Framework for ability to exercise power

Exercising power is an action. We need to analyze action to understand how the exercise of power is expressed.

Four phase model of action

  1. Propose: delineate the options on the table
  2. Decide: select the preferred option
  3. Execute: put the selected option into action
  4. Evaluate: analyze the impact of the executed action


Power relations and information

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Power and economy

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External links