During the workshop in Hütten in July 2006 one special question raised particular attention:
What is the criteria to recognize a germ form?
The term germ form has been developed in Project Oekonux and has often been used to characterize Free Software. However, Free Software is seen as only the most prominent and visible manifestation of a germ form. Also in this project some idea of what a germ form is has evolved. However, there is no precise list of criteria allowing to recognize a germ form in practice.
This page and its subpages now try to develop the concept of germ form further and try to find some criteria for it. During the discussion in Hütten it became clear that this is really a research project. This page and its subpages are an attempt to further this research project. see Discussion
To make this research as fruitful as possible for as many people as possible at least the results of the research need to be documented in English. Therefore this page is written in English.
However, there is a big German language community discussing these questions and some of them have difficulties to express themselves in English. This needs to be taken into account. Therefore it's ok to comment in German. I will try to roughly translate things to English where necessary and useful. Others are welcome to join this effort of course. see Discussion
This is an attempt to list some research tasks which need to be done.
- Germ form for what
In Hütten it became clear that research for criteria of a germ form must attempt to describe what a germ form is a germ form for.
Since the concept comes from the Oekonux discussion it is clear that if we say "germ form" we think of a germ form of a new society. I.e. a form which contains features pointing beyond the current society to a different one (in Oekonux often the term GPL society has been used for this type of society). see Discussion
Though there is some idea of the features of such a society there could be more clarity here. Thus it needs to be researched.
- Separate personal from common issues
When we talk of germ form and the criteria for it we need to be careful to prevent projecting our own personal wishes / moral / ethics into the concept of germ form. A concept of germ form which is loaded with such personal wishes can not serve as a scientific concept and thus is useless.
Therefore it must be clearly separated what are personal wishes / moral / ethics and what can be argued for based on a common reasoning. see Discussion
- Separate aspects of a germ form from the germ form itself
There are probably a lot of features a germ form has other forms also show. For instance money has existed long before capitalism existed. That way money is an aspect of the germ form for capitalism but it is not the germ form itself. This similarly applies to current germ forms and their aspects.
- Universal germ form criteria
The original question asked for a germ form with the ability to overcome capitalism. Is it possible to name criteria of a germ form which are super-historical? In particular is there criteria which the germ forms of capitalism share with modern germ forms?
- Develop criteria to recognize a germ form
The question for criteria useful to recognize a germ form was the initial question leading to all this. Of course this needs to be researched then.
- Meaning of "form" in germ form
What exactly does it mean when we speak of a germ form? see Discussion
In this Wiki:
From the Oekonux introduction:
From the workshop in Hütten: