Holochain Forum

Holochain for Global Cooperation

First, I would like to introduce myself. I’m DonJon, an Artist, writer, and obsessive thinker. I have an epic novel in the works, a visual Art studio in Austin, Texas, and a background in the cooperative movement (not much movement).

Second, I’ve decided to withhold the long background story for now.

And third is the reality of our current social/economic order, and how the solutions bubbling up in the decentralized space can drive change.

For humanity to have a future there must be a consciousness shift away from excess competition toward organized cooperation. The excesses of the competitive economy have resulted in massive inefficiencies, maldistribution of resources, and systemic violence (not to mention the destruction of the planet).

I spent five years working and living in cooperatives and studying the philosophies and histories of the movement and found it severely lacking. In fact, they were more competitive than any organizations I had previously been involved. This led me to author The First Provisional Constitution of Cooperation (link below). The constitution is an overarching document that outlines the basic structure of organized human cooperation. It’s based on a network structure that mimics the natural world; biomimicry is the buzzword, I believe.

I’m always looking at new ideas and technologies. I first ran across Ripple in 2006/7. Bitcoin never interested me greatly, but when I saw Holochain (2018) I got excited about the possibilities in conjunction with the concept of constitutional cooperation. The constitution of cooperation is a foundation for building consensus cooperation that outlines a philosophy, a polity, and an infrastructure. Three people or more can establish a chartered cooperation by following the constitutional structure (and host holo;-). The open architecture allows for infinite iterations of cooperation with governance the providence of the charter.

The Global Cooperation Corps (GCC) will provide constitutional continuity, infrastructure development, and training/support. Importantly, the technology is secondary to the human connections required for cooperation. Again, this is not a governance document, rather it is the foundation for organized cooperation. And it’s not a web development document, rather the basis for the development of one for the Holochain.

Don’t be afraid of the number of pages, it’s only 1,626 words with lots of white space.
In addition to the constitution, there is a significant amount of additional documentation, including a charter with organizational details, et al.

Below is the link to the constitution of cooperation.



A lot of good stuff to chew on here, DonJon. These ideas are very similar to the ones that led me to discover Holochain as well; the way I’ve framed it in my personal writings is:

The Era of Competition has worn out its utility; it is time to swiftly embrace and move into the Era of Cooperation.

Similar to some of the sections of your constitution, some of the key “infrastructure” needs (in this case, software) that I see for this shift into cooperative societies/economies are Knowledge Sharing, Goal Setting, and Data Visualization. The knowledge sharing piece drives the development of a rich and accessible information commons, the goal setting allows agents to apply the knowledge, and the data visualization allows unbiased feedback on the progress of the goals. These elements line up relatively closely with some aspects of your “Framework of Cooperation”, but your additional focus on the management of the organization gives me more to think about in terms of what the minimum-viable-infrastructure would be to fully enable this vision of a cooperative future. I think the work being done at valueflo.ws is also important and applicable.

EDIT: And as an aside, the first project that I am currently working on and intend to integrate with Holochain is the knowledge sharing component of this stack.

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Thanks for your reply. Yes, competitive capitalism was a useful driver in the industrial revolution, but it’s outdated, clumsy, wasteful, unfair, and just plain dumb as the mechanism for human advancement in the 21st Century.

It’s my opinion, to successfully develop an era of decentralization we must embrace a new “cooperation consciousness” to succeed. In the scope of communities, competition thrives on centralized control, opaque information pools, and inequitable benefit distribution that results in the societal psychosis that we see today. Boiled down to the duality, competition/cooperation is an innate trait in human nature.

Writing code to the current competitive social/economic order is self-defeating. The decentralized movement must embrace cooperation as the primary driver to succeed. Otherwise, if the movement continues to write code without fully embracing cooperation the results will inevitable devolve into a competition.

Many of the current holo projects could fit within the cooperation schema suggested in the constitution. And clearly, the knowledge-sharing component is a critical first step. Also, I just breezed over the Valueflo project, but it looks very useful and I will study closer.

Again, the Global Cooperation Corps is the organization that is spearheading this project. If we get interest from the Holo community, I would like to begin establishing a project plan. In the technology development space I’m not sure what that looks like. Any examples, suggestions, and help would be appreciated.

Finely, I have tens of thousands of hours contemplating this project and would be happy to be challenged on any aspect of it, including the smallest of details. I hope more people will voice their opinion here.

Please advise how we begin.



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I really don’t want to be mean, but this is a really, really, poorly developed take. As someone who seems so interested in micro-privatization for the sake of a more “complete” market dynamic, I encourage you to follow your interest in those complex system dynamics into Marxian economic theory. Neoclassical Economics is unfortunately not a definitive scientific field, as much as traditional economists would like everyone to believe. Read a little Marx, I promise it won’t kill you.

The fundamental issue with competition vs cooperation is that competition as a system creates an incentive to hide information. In a competitive market, you must maintain a competitive advantage, and the primary way those advantages are created and maintained today is through intellectual property law. Private organizations pillage the information commons for its inherent value, make new connections, and as a critical issue, do not contribute back to the information commons from which they derived the value. A thought experiment: imagine if Isaac Newton decided to privatize his discovery of gravity! If all modern physics where held in private by a single entity to profit from, how stunted the world would be, both because only one entity could produce goods that use that “technology”, and how little the field would grow when it could only be developed further in private at Newton Inc. And yet, this is exactly where we find ourselves today, and largely where the “private competitive markets” dictate that the system must go, from the shape of the system itself.

I think this is a prime example of the fundamental delusion of this worldview: most people cannot afford to make this decision; they cannot “vote with their dollars” when they don’t have dollars. Never mind the fact that there are many other systems at play that create this situation, such as consolidation of wealth amongst those who already have wealth, and lack of access to opportunity and education to get more of those “dollar votes”. This is precisely why you see wealthier, more educated people more likely to make that “vote” for en eco-friendly lifestyle.

Same as above; most people do not have enough money to “vote”. This is an effect of capitalism, and also a cause for further inequality—those with more money get to “vote” on things that will make them more money… it’s a very simple positive feedback loop that is very easy to intuitively visualize. Likewise, there are very few cooperatives to vote for, since large capitalist firms are so easily able to shift rules in their favor. At least in the US, there are historical legal impediments that make it difficult for the traditional coop to challenge larger corporate firms. And as a counter example, there are many examples of successful cooperatives throughout the world; I encourage you to check out this cool website called Google. Even as an immediate example, the biggest grocery store in the city that I live in Vermont is a co-op. It is successful, and an important pillar to the community.

That being said, you are thinking about cooperatives (and “socialism”, seemingly) from a very 20th century lens. We are not talking strictly about private cooperatives that are just corporations with distributed shares (though that would be a great first step for many reasons) but truly open cooperatives, where many people can join communities of people who steward and manage a set of commons whether they be knowledge, production, land, or otherwise. When information is not treated as a scare resource that must be hidden to protect profit incentive, we can iterate and create more quickly and effectively to meet the needs of the global population with much less waste.

Example: with a fully open knowledge commons, anyone interested in {SUBJECT} could dive into the literature and get a full understanding of the subject. They could contribute to {PROJECT} related to {SUBJECT}, and their contributions could be tracked as a value flow via hREA. The results of {PROJECT}, {WIDGET} are now freely available to anyone who needs that solution. Instead of one company owning the intellectual property for {WIDGET}, local fabrication sites could manufacture {WIDGET} on-location. This collaboration as a foundational model for society would more completely track the value that everyone contributes along the process of production. The process would be much more efficient, as things would be built as-needed instead of for expected demand (which marketing then creates unnecessary demand for more sales), and could massively reduce global shipping needs, especially if local resources can be harvested for fabrication.

Anyway, I appreciate you taking the time to write out so much, but I do also encourage you to deeply analyze the “flows” in our society to see why the things you see as self-evident are not as true as you seem to believe.


First, thanks for the reply. With all due respect, everything you posted above I have studied and considered. The libertarian “anarcho-capitalism” viewpoint is silly, unworkable, and a roadmap to tyranny.

The structure is not a “cooperative,” that is a legal entity with a history of not working. This is consensus cooperation, any entity that uses the constitution should be referred to as a “cooperation.”

I don’t think I used the word “capitalism” in either one of my posts and only once in the prelude to the constitution. Capitalism has many meanings, but when it’s referred to these days it generally means “current existing competitive capitalist.” Cooperative capitalism is a thing.

Competition is part of the duality and will always be in any human endeavor, the question is, do we have the proper balance. I clearly would say no.

Lastly, I don’t have the time or bandwidth to engage in a debate about the fallacies of libertarianism. Done that, been there. It will bear no fruit, trust me.

Harvard research shows that 1/3 of the people will always compete, 1/3 will always cooperate, and 1/3 will do what the others are doing. Clearly you fall in the first group. So, this thread is not directed at you and I would prefer if you don’t muck it up with libertarian content.

Clearly, you’ve done your homework, as have I. We must agree to disagree and proceed on our own paths.

For anyone else that is interested, if your heart is in competitive capitalism don’t bother to post. That is not what this post is about. If you are interested in discussing the mechanisms of constitutional cooperation I’d be happy to spend as much time as needed.




Totally agree! One can rephrase it to say: morality is a luxury commodity! Here where I live, only the ultra-rich industrialists have got solar panels over their homes; when cycling around, that’s the rhetoric that comes to mind: that morality indeed is a luxury commodity.

Anyway, I’d keep it short (since I’ve been asked by the OP to post no more… :–(


When I talk of capitalism, I refer to the ideal of laissez-faire that has, for the most part, up till now, never been realized. The interventionist system we live under is not what I hold as an ideal. Hell, as Mises says, interventionism must eventually end in total socialism! I for the most part am waiting for the judgment day (the day when the world governments fail to service the public debt, a day when it must choose between its currency and its reputation), a day that’s soon to come, a day that would offer a narrow window of time and opportunity for the world to go laissez-faire, once and for all!

Haha! In a sense, the war (of arguments) between liberal capitalists and socialists (of all clothes, including that of your own) can be correlated with the war between Nietzsche’s Apollonians and Dionysians. As you just proved, the Dionysians never resort to reason or logic to prove their point. Totally expected.


I’m not a socialist, I’m a cooperator. You’re debating outdated paradigms. Nietzche was a mental case. Best, dj.

Thanks for taking the time to reply.

And libertarianism must eventually end in total tyranny. Noam Chomsky

I find it humorous that you think you’re using logic. Anyway, let’s get back on topic, Human Cooperation.

Getting back to the original conversation, I’d be curious to hear more about this Global Cooperation Corps. I think there may be room to try to codify some aspects of the constitution into reusable holochain code modules, and I think several aspects may be already underway (like the aforementioned hREA/valueflows project). What work has the GCC already done outside of the tech space, and is there a link to find out more?

In general, I feel that from a tech perspective we are in a nebulous phase where we should be building infrastructure (holochain), protocols (like valueflows), and prototype end-user software (the first round of holo apps) at the same time, so that they can all grow and influence each other in practice. I believe that my most valuable contribution to the effort is from the end user application perspective, but I have a lot of insight (and room to learn!) on those other levels too. Perhaps the work of translating the work of the GCC lies mostly in the protocol space, along with a little bit of infrastructure (reusable holochain zomes/DNAs).

Logic dictates that, under the free market, the very solvency of the seller firm depends on whether the consumers buy from it. In a sense, a corporation is a servant to the consumers’ needs. Tyranny is defined as the hegemonic totalitarian freedom of an entity to do whatever pleases it, with no repercussions for its action. If a firm does not wish to go bankrupt, it must serve its customers, and serve them well. Saying that a capitalistic corporation leads to tyranny is utterly illogical!

Without providing a long history, I am the GCC until I find people that understand the vision. So, it’s a placeholder for future development. The reality is, like our friend A-Man, most people are merely looking to debate rather than discover. I’m looking for doers, which is what I see in the people rolling out Holochain. You are the expert and I will defer to you when it comes to network design. Let me know what would help you and others understand the vision: A bullet list of thoughts and questions would be helpful.

Dude, seriously?

I suggested that “anarcho-capitalism” leads to tyranny. The reason we don’t have tyranny now is due to the intervention of our government of the people. Please take the last word and we will go our own separate ways. Best, dj.

Ideas like those make for great memes! But they’ve got nothing to do with the actual truth. I wonder if you’ve ever heard of private police (those who guard Walmart, for instance)? Law is nothing but contractual agreements, something that the free market can produce much more efficiently than a monopolistic government. So, no, Anarcho-Capitalism does not end in tyranny! Hell, an ancap world is more secure, competitive and constructive than today’s interventionist one. David Friedman has done one hell of a work around the same concepts; check out his work and you’ll know for sure.


I would appreciate if you would delete your posts so I can work on my project unencumbered.

You do understand, A-Man, “Do No Harm?”

You don’t even believe in your own philosophy. You are “doing harm” to my thread and therefore my project. It’s not a thread to debate “ancap.” Please delete your posts so I don’t have to create a new one. Thank you.

Possibly, you didn’t see the above posts as you were not tagged. Thank you.