ChrisCaston suggests :

A persons ability to survive is (at least once they leave the supervision of their parents or guardians) based on their ability to reason and their mind is their only means of acquiring knowledge. Humans for the most part stay the same but the information that fills their mind changes as does the relations of production and exchange.

Entrepreneurs that succeed in modern capitalism may have once been Communists. These people are no longer Communists but that influence has made an important part in the makeup of their personality and their plans for building the company structures of the 21st century. In part some former Communists may decide that the only way to bring about development of the relations of production and exchange is for they themselves to become a new breed of bourgeoisie.

Under open source capitalism all information is free but all physical property is privately owned. "All information" includes business plans and their associated operations and knowledge that permits production and replication.

We are reaching a period in time where the major instiutations of mixed economy capitalism must either reinvent themselves or face collapse. As their income streams dry up (due to charges in technology, mass production of commodities with low markup, and the ease of transferring information) they are suing each other and or their customers to either get back (what they perceive as lost income) or simply to gain any income at all.

Mixed economy capitalism is to feudalism as open source capitalism is to capitalism.

Mixed economy capitalism is a multi-dimensional implementation of feudalism. Each large company could be seen as its own Kingdom (for example Coca-cola, Kodak, Microsoft, Walmart) and the company with the market leadership is the largest Kingdom.

Open source capitalism is a multi-dimensional implementation of capitalism thus is will overthrow these "Kingdoms"

The changes will be profound and world changing just as the change from feudalism is capitalism has been.

This will create new types of businesses as an exciting way to bring the common franchise the the next level: The OpenSourceFranchise?.

Important new possible factors influencing production:

The concept of mentalcapital

The CPU for instance is designed using thousands of individual human brains working together of their own choice. The expensive company structure keeps them together and pays their salary. Information technology is making it easier to have access to MentalCapital? without the high overhead costs.

A persons ability to reason will be affected by their ability to organise other people to share with them their own ability to reason.

A new breed of stock market may open up businesses to distributed control of their business processes rather than just being a mode of investing money. The important part rather than raising money is raising mentalcapital.

The space race

The real thing holding back the space race is NOT the lack of funding but rather the lack of applied mental capital. In the future space missions could be planeed through collaborative open source projects. All things hardware, software designs, operational plans and time lines would be completely open source. Some of the real hardware could be donated by companies that would get a mention as project sponsors in a similar way to how busineses donate hardware and bandwith the the Linux kernel project. It would be an important avenue for R&D as well as to help companies expose their technical staff to space technologies. This would give a very positive aspect to attracting new talent for HR reasons.

Other countries wishing to enter start or continue to operate their own space program could benefit from the body of open source material and community of mental captial available.

3dprinting and Nano-engineering

Production may become so advanced that the basic building blocks of just about anything (and the molecules required can be constructed from other available atoms) can be assembled using readily available machines. Car parts could be "printed" instead of ordered from halfway over the world.

The important part here is the information used to describe the object that will be printed.

Major manufactures will embrace this technology and so will new competitors. The most expensive part of the production would still be the original design.

The convergence of grid computing, wireless Internet access and a direct interface with the human brain.

Feel free to add more here. The possibilities are endless.

New forms of transport

The Moller Skycar (and others) will also encourage further urban sprawl. Cities will stop gaining density due mainly to increased real estate costs and people wishing to buy property will move further and further out.

: Hmm. What's wrong with HighDensityLiving? – PhilJones

Well Capitalism is all about the right of people to own property. In highdensity areas the land is much more expensive and things are centralised. You also get all the polution in the one place which the earth finds it harder to clean rather than it being released in smaller amount over a much wider area giving the earth a chance to clean itself.

OpenSourceCapitlism is about decentralisation and breaking up the "Kingdoms" of MixedEconomyCapitalism.


So Chris,

what's the difference with what I call "Informationalism" in FeudalismCapitalismInformationalism? (That's not meant to be a criticism. Just trying to drill-down and get a clearer picture.)


I think that information is not actually physical but it fuels and directs human minds. Mental capital is the real basis of development but money buys food and shelter that keeps the body running and thus the mind. As to which term we should use I'm starting to think that even open source capitalism might not describe it well enough but I personally believe it is the best term at the moment because in a lot of ways the economy will still operate according to economic theories of capitalism. Another term could be OpenSourceInformationCapitalism

I've started to develop a theory and write up a document. It's based on Hegelian dialectics and sees "The Third way" as a more co-ordinated and planned approach to the mixed economy which is the synthesis of state socialism and capitalism. To resolve the contradictions in the mixed economy based on the thesis and anti-thesis of public and private ownership is the synthesis of "The fourth way". This involves the creation of a means of ownership that is a hybrid between public and private ownership and will preferably offer the best of both worlds. It will be based on the idea of an open source company but it will also stop a single private company or group of companies from having a monopoly over basic utilities such as the telecommunications system and the power grid.

I will keep you up to date on the development of the theory. I can't find a lot of information that seems relevant on "The fourth way" at the moment but maybe that is because I am pioneering it. By all means let me know of any and all prior works.


-It does appear that some Socialists would like to reserve that term for a system that brings in tighter control of the market. I will attempt to prove that a society based on open source business is the fourth way and that there is a dialectical basis for this. It may also be wise to avoid "The fourth way" buzzterm altogether but I'm yet to reach a decision on this.



let's see if I'm getting you. You want something between a hierarchical control (state control or feudalism) and a market (distributed / negotiation-based control). But unlike traditional mixed-economy social democrats you don't see this intermediate state as being a mixture of hierarchical and market-based institutions. Instead you are looking for a different notion of ownership. Which I take it can be rephrased as a different notion of property. And I take it, this notion of ownership is inspired by the OpenSource movement.

So, I'm wondering how this new type of property could be?

1) Would it consist of the same relation between property and owner - ie. this is mine, I can buy and sell it and give it away under these conditions - but with some fewer or modified rights. Eg. certain other stakeholders can claim rights over it (something like SystemInflowRights is an example of a different way of drawing the "rights boundary" around PropertyModules.)


2) Would it have different relations between property, say more creator rights. Eg. I made this, so it's mine. And I always retain some rights over it. The market can't alienate the rights of the maker. (Bit like with the GPL, upstream creators have the right to prevent downstream re-users from closing it.)


3) Is it something more like AltMoney experiments with different kinds of currency. Where there is still a market for buying and selling things, but the money itself (the network protocol) works differently?

or ...

(Just brainstorming here ... hope these ideas either inspire you or goad you into a "No, it's not at all like that, it's like this ..." moment.


Well I won't attempt to give a full answer those questions (in relation to ownership) on this edit (perhaps a later one though) but it looks like you understand (for the most part) what I am proposing. I thought your ideas comparing the waved rights of intellectual property in open source to the possibility of rights being waved in regards to physical property to be very interesting. The thought, however, hadn't crossed my mind but I think that it is brilliant that is had crossed yours and deserves more consideration. I also feel a little tired right now which is the reason why I'm not giving a full response.

I'm looking at this from the perspective that an open source means of operation would allow emancipation of production processes. The economy would be a free market but comprised of entities that are democratically planned using open source collaboration methods. These entities would be franchise like (but could be replicated without licensing fees) and anyone could either help build the entity (by this I mean business or association-like arrangement) and possibly become employed in it or replicate the entity to another area, town or country.

I propose that this system should be easy (compared to trying to make a revolution to bring about another type of system) to get started because all that needs to happen to get the ball rolling it for a few interested people to start up new companies with open source business plans and encourage people to get involved in the development and or replicate them.


OK, so the market works much the same way as now. But the institutions which run it are closer to open source projects than companies? Formed by groups of volunteers who work for the attention, self-improvement, or political ideals plus maybe some kind of profit share? And maybe they organize themselves using some kind of alternative democratic process?

(Maybe see also AlternativesToCompanies, Argentinian piqueteros described in SquatterMovements. Or ParEcon?)


I think so. I would hope that there would be much less regulation of the market than there is now as these open source institutions make government departments much less relevant. I definitely think there should be a profit-share and I hope that people will be recruited according to the interest in a particular businesses that they have demonstrated by working on the project rather than the current methods of recruitment that tend to leave many many thousands or perhaps millions of people out in the cold.

A potential criticism from those in opposition to open source business would be that businesses would get people to develop their business processes for free. This has been addressed in open source software and I think that if these processes were kept proprietary than that would be a problem but as they are open source anyone with an Internet connection can potentially benefit.

There is the opportunity for customers to develop and tune the operations of the businesses that they buy products and services from. Given this aspect I see that the Open Source business would have huge advantages over common business.