Platform Cooperativism Resource Library


This paper focalizes on the economic model of digital platforms as a new method of coordinating the production of value. We suggest that the advent of “platform capitalism” is symptomatic of a crisis of the model of the firm understood as a space separated from society and based on private ownership. This crisis appears, first, as an inadequacy of the instruments of theoretical economics to take the digital platform model into account, and subsequently as a crisis concerning the ownership of the means of production: ownership seems to be split into intellectual ownership (especially algorithms) and physical ownership of the means of production (which are the prerogative of the platform’s users/producers/consumers). This new proprietary model allows us to revisit the question of the ownership of the means of production and the governance of the firm itself. In this sense, we suggest that in the claims of platform cooperativism, the platform-firm no longer appears as a group of assets that are already owned, but as an institution in which ownership corresponds to governance. In other words, ownership is understood as an institutional arrangement intended to govern the resource itself, which allows us to fully rethink the ownership of the firm according to the model of “the philosophy of the commons.”

Keywords: firmcommonsplatform capitalismcooperativism

Added May 15, 2020