Here we consider the significance of rent in the political economy of meet.coop
Updated: 10jan2022To be extended xxx
Rent is a significant element in the financial/currency dimension of meet.coop, for example: rental of servers from coop Ops members (Koumbit) or from commercial hosting companies (Hetzner, via Collocall). Our activities also depend substantially on the use of platforms that are effectively rented to the coop - largely for operational use - under a facilities agreement: by Webarchitects (webmail for the [email protected] helpdesk, Discourse for the public forum, time logging system, NextCloud storage and apps, etc), by OpenCollective (financial transactions by User members, payments of expenses to Ops members, etc).
Rented stuff is a contribution in kind, which is a category of contribution we should pay careful and distinct attention to (alongside work contribution or financial contribution). This schema highlights contributions in kind within the political economy of contributions in meet.coop:
Political economy of meet.coop - Contributions in kind
Rent is an important construct in (Marxian) political economy. Rent is not that well understood as an element of political economy. It has roots in precapitalist modes of production, but possibly is coming into renewed and contradictory prominence in the economy of digital stuff (eg the extraction of hidden rents - aka algorithmic extraction of personal data and demographic profiles - from ‘free’ social media traffic, by data oligarchs; who then trade media products - demographic profiles and targeting details for marketeers or political organisations - in the orthodox post-Fordist capitalist-consumerist economy). Potenntially, rent matters a lot, in terms of the struggle to develop postcapitalist economic and political forms, in contradictory historical times, with digital infrastructures.