Potlatch was a festival ceremony practiced by Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast in North America. The main purpose of this is the wealth destruction, re-distribution and reciprocity. It is about building respect and reputation in community, through offering the most. The concept of gift as a total social fact, where goods and services are given, rather than traded – originates in the potlatch and comes from Marcel Mauss’ work in social anthropology. In a gift economy, gifts are given with expectation that they will be given in return in different way (as prestige, friendship, cooperation, common goals realization…)
Capitalism’s aim is to individually accumulate and hold on as much wealth as possible. In the potlatch we don’t keep the goods, we destroy them by physical destruction or by giving them away to show our contempt for material goods. The material wealth is changed into symbolic high value. Capitalism destroy and wastes a lot, but it doesn’t want to show it. The machines has to turn perfectly. New consumption desires cause “the not-wanted anymore” products. They destroy them, but not on public view – nothing can go out from production-consumption circle. If it does, it becomes contrary to its regulations. If there are some acts of recycling there are re-appropriated for its own target (making a profit).
Potlatching was made illegal in Canada in 1885 and in the United States in the late nineteenth century, when it was considered as “a worse than useless custom” that was seen as wasteful and unproductive, and therefore not part of “civilized” values. The contemporary form of anti-potlatch legalization, officially known as the “Creation and Internet law – HADOPI”, is discussed from 2008 till now in France. It is about sanctioning Internet users by terminating their Internet access (for up to 12 months), if they are alleged to have downloaded or distributed for free copyrighted material.
Ko Maru kai atu Ko Maru kai mai ka ngohe ngohe.
Give as much as you take, everything will be right”/1
Always try to upload at least as much as you download.
That’s the way to keep the bittorrent network alive. 2
The scientific research is an information gift economy. Scientists give their ideas to the community and receive recognition and status in return. The free software community makes source codes available, allowing anyone to study, copy and modify/improve these codes letting to share knowledge with the rest of humanity. With open code it brings ethical and political aspects of living as part of society, instead of competitive ‘dog-eat-dog’ jungle. Lawrence Lessing, with Creative Commons and the Free Culture movement, developed and spread ideas of sharing creativity and culture, of informations exchanges, participations, collaborations, and content generation of by participants. Collective intelligence, open licenses or distributed networks give the impression about character of Web 2.0.
Web 2.0 refers to a perceived second generation of web development and design, that aims to facilitate communication, information sharing, interoperability, and collaboration on the World Wide Web. Web 2.0 concepts have led to the development and evolution of web-based communities, hosted services, and applications; such as social-networking sites, video-sharing sites, wikis, blogs, folksonomies. Extreme exchange networks (p2p) gives rights of participation to everyone in every field of human endeavor. Based on the free cooperation, on open, non-hierarchic systems, free exchange without monetary compensation as key motivating factor; they creates a commons, rather than a market or a state, and relies on social relations to allocate resources rather than on pricing mechanisms or managerial commands” 3
Web 2.0 apply the alternative licenses, which use the law tools for adding freedom than for imposing restrictions. Every piece under free license is available for distribution and reproduction for everyone, as long as they follow those licenses. Treating ideas as a commodities and ‘protecting’ them by copyrights, produce a wall through they cannot pass by, or freely circulate from one to another, without a “border tax” payment. The progress is stopped an the culture is stuck.
Potlatch 2.0 is about free diffusion, redistribution, re-giving of culture goods with open content, whose creation is based on collaboration with utilization of new technology tools. Potlatch 2.0 is a kind of immaterial gift economy based on sharing not exchange profits. The network communities create work-as-gift not work-as-commodity. In the Potlatch 2.0 wasting is replaced by recycling and remixing. Potlatch 2.0 destroy the original. It lets free reproductions of its wealth for everyone, and this re-distribution cost is equal zero. It is critical way of Internet using; of its relationships commodification and e-market. Potlatch 2.0 principle is to build a free culture, encouraging people for double-side participation and building direct democracy. The potential reward, a prestige, is linked with free distribution as a promotion, and it can be a way of living but with full consciousness of creating the culture Together on the horizontal relation and having free access into. Potlatch 2.0 is an open data base of music, film, books, fan-zines which are available for free downloading. Come and Copy.