ON ECSA ECONOMIC WHITE PAPER CH 2
Dick Bryan, Jorge Lopez, Akseli Virtanen *
Preface: What is the value of a language?
We have started to share some of our recent work on rethinking the economic component of ‘cryptoeconomics’ in the ECSA economic white paper Protocols for Cryptoeconomic Networks. This post is about Chapter 2.
Like said — for the introduction to the process see Towards Post-Capitalism. A Language for New Economic Expression — we’ve realized that we are in fact creating a language for new economic expression. A language for post-capitalist economic expression.
That makes you think. What makes a language valuable? How does the value of a language appreciate?
I would say, that if it gets: adopted, repeated, imitated; shared, copied; used in multiple ways, that multiple ways of using it are invented, that it is used creatively; different interpretations, that are always different subjective investments.
It is a different paradigm of value creation and indexing based on:
Sharing, copying and inventing multiple uses VS. Restricting use by proprietary ownership
Many interpretations, iterations, variations VS. Hiding the source code
Collective self-organization, self-governance and right to fork VS. External command and control
This is the essence of Chapter 2. We need a more expressive language — than we currently have — to express, measure and communicate value. An economic grammar for post-capitalism.
Dick & Akseli Discussing CH 2
As part of the sharing process, we try to accompany the text piece with a deep discussion on the key themes, insights and their relevance. So here you go:
Contents: Economy as a network. Capitalism as a narrow definition of a network. Hayek and his digital disciples. Radical Markets. Price, market and the rule of profit as a protocol. How to challenge a protocol? Economy as a design field. Markets that pursue other goals than individual profit. Randy Martin and the social logic of the derivative. A new economic grammar. What is at the core of the ECSA project.
2 Crypto-Political Economy
2.1 The ECSA agenda
2.2 An economic primer
2.3 The Hayekian turn: knowledge, price and spontaneous order
2.4 Transcending Hayek and his digital disciples: the market, prices and profits as protocols
2.5 Do ‘big data’ change the story?
2.6 A derivative framing of Hayek
2. CRYPTO POLITICAL ECONOMY
2.1 The ECSA agenda
Is cryptoeconomy just a refinement and acceleration of a capitalist economy or can it create new economic space? It could be either or, indeed both. The platforms that utilize blockchain and cryptographic technologies can be placed at the service of protocols that are essentially capitalist — designed around private property, self interest and profit calculus — or protocols that are conceived more co-operatively and commons-oriented — designed around shared networks and risking together. The technology permits both capitalist and social versions to be designed centrally or in a distributed way. In both cases, there are clear cost and speed advantages of cryptoeconomic platforms because of the absence of need for central clearing houses, and we see large corporations and states adopting the technology for fast, low cost and accurate record keeping.
ECSA’s technical agenda focuses on the capabilities of a distributed network (or network of networks), and could be applied equally to a distributed capitalism or distributed social agenda. Whilst our preference and goal is the latter, our contribution is in significant part to draw out the contrast between the two, so that the social agenda can be seen as no less practicable than an idealised, distributed capitalism, and we can provide clear depiction of the difference between the two. Essentially, this framing reveals ECSA’s BIG PUT to be a spread bet!
We choose to focus this white paper on how we will build a distributed social economy, and we do so both as an ethical starting point and because this alternative is yet to appear in its crypto form. But the contrast with a capitalist calculative logic must always be present so that the spread is clearly apparent.
Accordingly, we need to start with ECSA’s “cyber-social” stack, and how we plan to utilize it to create a different kind of economy. The stack, for those unfamiliar, is the dependency ordered, hierarchy of protocols that a distributed, computational network must follow. The technological dimension of ECSA’s stack are presented in the Technical white paper. In a cryptoeconomic context, it should be noted that programming here doesn’t imply a rigid determinism, for the possibilities of contingency and indeterminacy are purposefully encoded, and the potential to ‘go beyond’ the current version of the stack is embedded in its premise — it has what has been called a metapragmatic grammar. The stack encodes a grammar in which the key features of the new economic space can be brought to life.
While we are proposing to build an economy that is new in so many respects, we cannot do so in a social, intellectual or historical vacuum. We must note what we can learn from capitalist modes of calculus, and we must engage an audience which may not have considered the possibility of building an economy on principles other than those identified with capitalism; even a ‘pure’, idealized capitalism.
Accordingly, we turn to some basic principles of capitalist economics and start to focus on the ways in which they might (and might not) articulate with the potentials of a cryptoeconomy. In particular, our agenda is to pick apart certain standard economic categories in a detailed way, to ensure that we don’t simply carry over concepts and approaches that will ultimately inhibit our project. But nor do we assume there is nothing to learn from the conventional knowledge. On the contrary, we need to blend the new with relevant lessons derived from the old.
2.2 An economics primer
Economics is a broad and contested discipline. It is also an old one, with Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations almost 250 years old, and Karl Marx’s economics 150 years old. Back then it was debated as ‘political economy’, with a narrower discipline of ‘economics’ — locking the social into a set of simplifying assumptions — dating only from the late 19th century. That narrowing involved the emergence of ‘neo-classical’ economics, which remains hegemonic more than 100 years on. It has, of course, significantly evolved over the past century, but the approach to ‘the social’ has varied little. It sees the social reduced to a set of behavioral abstractions (protocols), generally idealizations (homo economicus), designed to equate social goals with the operation of ‘free’ markets (businesses maximizing their profits; consumers maximizing their ‘utility’) and a role for the state restricted to market facilitation. Theoretical innovations have generally been about adding complexity (e.g. game theory) and exploring ‘distortions’ (e.g. asymmetrical information; behavioral deviations from homo economicus). It presents as an orthodoxy, quite unlike the rest of the social sciences that are conceived in continuous theoretical and methodological debate. Moreover, it is not merely an orthodoxy but, as a socially decisive discourse, it is performative: this theory of markets and homo economicus are less an attempt to describe society, than an engineering effort to remake society in its own image, predicated on the assumptions of individualism, self-interest and the universal aspiration of profitability articulated through (predominantly) market relations. In it, it has the template for the kind of people and interactions it wants, and if permitted to run, it will find and train players to behave according it its model. In the era of cryptoeconomics we can describe this engineering effort as building protocols of social performance.
But that orthodoxy is under new challenge, especially with the capacities of cryptocurrencies and cryptographically enabled distributed organizational-economic systems designed to program into being new types of institutions and economic conventions. We see the rise of ‘cryptoeconomics’ as a distinct field of analysis. However, we are concerned that the propositions of cryptoeconomics have so far engaged in just a limited way in the social and political theory that lies behind their ‘alternative’ economics.
Generally, these challenges will depict themselves as ‘political economy’, picking up on the 18th and 19th century recognition that economics and politics (the social) cannot be separated.
In modern usage, ‘political economy’ emerged in the 1950’s as part of a radical rejection of capitalist class relations. Some branches reached back to Marx’s propositions about the contradictions of capitalism and the emergence of a politicized working class to resist oppression, creating the way for a self-organizing society.
Others developed a political economy that focussed on reforms of the state intended to make society fairer, more equal and more sustainable. Rather than a revolutionary politics, these reformers advocated a social democratic state, often looking to Scandinavian societies as their model.
Both schools of political economy lost potency in the 1980’s and 90’s. On the one hand, the fall of the Soviet Union and the ‘marketisation’ of China had reputational implications for Marxisms of all varieties, including those that despised the Soviet Union as much as they despised capitalism. On the other hand, the rise in the west of ‘neo-liberalism’ saw the state operating as the obstacle to ‘progressive’ reform, not as its agent. Simply advocating what a ‘good’ state should do lacked any real politics.
2.3 The Hayekian Turn: knowledge, price and spontaneous order
But there was an emerging undercurrent of political economy, now coming from the ‘right’ of politics, that came to the fore in these contexts. It is most readily associated with the name Friedrich von Hayek — a rather marginal libertarian economist living in the shadow of Keynes and the (broadly) Marxists, but whose name came to public prominence as the theoretical guru of UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher: the person many attribute as the instigator of ‘neoliberalism’.
Hayek was vehemently anti-socialist, but he had major conflicts with the neoclassical economists too. He embraced homo economicus as the premise of social rationality but thought the neo-classicals endorsed a role for the state in economic management that was way beyond what was necessary. The state, he contended, is innately authoritarian, imposing its will on society: sometimes well-intentioned but flawed; other times clearly to enhance the power of the state itself. Milton Friedman later called it the tyranny of the majority: that an elected government could claim legitimacy in trampling on people’s natural rights. The market, claimed Hayek, is the natural site of freedom of expression and a means to generate spontaneous social order.
Of course the critique is that markets, if left to themselves, create massive inequality, environmental destruction, etc.. Not so said Hayek. It is the inadequate specification of property rights and the rules of markets that are the problem, and when states tinker with outcomes (levies and bounties) they generally mess it up. This includes, critically, the provision of a state-sanctioned money system (fiat money).
Not surprisingly, Hayek has had great appeal in cryptoeconomics. On the surface, they are a near perfect fit. A cryptoeconomic order conceived in a rejection of the state as economic manager, including as provider of the sole monetary system, and instead focussing on optimizing individuals in contractual transactions, seems to resonate deeply with Hayek. We can readily source essays on cryptoeconomics that celebrate the optimizing individual and claim foundation in Hayek. It should be noted that, knowingly or not, the idealization of individualism, profit and the market as foundational social relations come as integral to the Hayek package and those foundations are being transmitted, perhaps not always intentionally, into cryptoeconomic culture.
Associated with, and developing out of, a broadly Hayekian tradition are those who see that the integrity of market processes have been corrupted in various ways, and not simply by ‘the state’. Here, the outcomes of neoliberalism — extreme inequality, monopoly power, environmental destruction — are forcefully criticised, but not in the name of a critique of capitalism; rather in the name of obstacles to free expression in markets. Eric Posner and Glen Weyl’s Radical Markets is a recent case in point, and has acquired significant support from people involved in cryptoecnomics. They contend that the problems of the current era are about the specification of property rights, not capitalist markets per se. In particular, private property of all kinds, they argue, constitutes monopoly ownership and hence the propensity to monopoly pricing. Their alternative is to constitute economic relations via processes of auctions, designed so that people will reveal their ‘true’ interests. There is no higher notion of the social good than what can be revealed by efficient auction design; and especially the utilisation of prediction markets to elicit preferences.
Posner and Weyl don’t use the language of derivatives, but what they are effectively doing is to build call options into the pricing of property, with the aim to bring back ethical virtue and efficiency to market processes. We note this derivative dimension and will return to it later. Blockchain’s smart contracts — themselves derivative positions — articulate with this vision.
The analysis of Posner and Weyl is extolled by Vitalik Buterin, head of the Ethereum project, who summarises their book’s agenda precisely:
The general philosophy of the book, as I interpret it, can be expressed as follows. Markets are great, and price mechanisms are an awesome way of guiding the use of resources in society and bringing together many participants’ objectives and information into a coherent whole. However, markets are socially constructed because they depend on property rights that are socially constructed, and there are many different ways that markets and property rights can be constructed, some of which are unexplored and potentially far better than what we have today. Contra doctrinaire libertarians, freedom is a high-dimensional design space.
We can embrace this depiction as stated, while not also embracing some controversial views of Posner and Weyl (for example their rejection of a doctrine of human rights as an imposition on market freedoms; their idealisation of mid 19th century liberalism). What remains contested, and where ECSA has focussed, is the question of what we mean by ‘markets’ and their relations with ‘society’. Markets may be ‘great’, to use Vitalik’s term, but as they currently operate, they are fundamentally directed to serving the pursuit of individual profits. In the discourse of Posner and Weyl they can be directed to socially ‘fair’ (non-monopoly) profits; but individual profits nonetheless.
ECSA has designed markets so as to pursue goals other than individual profit-making: what is valued does not need to be connected to capitalist-defined profitability. Financially-framed options can be designed so as to reveal social value, but in a way differently from how they are embedded in Radical Markets.
In the hands of Posner and Weyl, well-designed markets move toward equilibrium (balance) and the collective good follows. ECSA disagrees: markets are innately volatile (as the older Hayek concurred) and any design of a cryptoeconomy must embrace volatility; not wish it away. Instead, ECSA sees potential in a cryptoeconomy to use tokens not merely as a means of exchange for optimal trading processes, but also as a unit of account: a mode of measuring; a mode of valuing, and a way of choosing which sorts of volatility to embrace and which to neutralize.
This opens up an entirely different, and more expansive — and more political — design space. It opens the possibility that things currently deemed desirable but unprofitable — for example care, art, research, affect, biosphere enhancement — can come to prominence as value-creating activities. They need not be seen as after-thoughts, to be ‘subsidised’ by the state because they are virtuous-but-unprofitable. In summary, if we measure differently, these value-creating activities can best be depicted as themselves producing a ‘surplus’ (a term we prefer to ‘profit’): they create more value in their output than they use in their inputs. But to do this we have to value both inputs and outputs in different ways.
2.4 Transcending Hayek and his digital disciples: the market, prices and profits as protocols
In creating new economic space, ECSA is opening the space for a different economic calculus. Our proposition is that knowledge and its relation to markets needs to be re-thought. What Hayek and conventional economics and their digital disciples take as foundational in relation to markets, we think are protocols, and hence programmable differently. It is this programmability that characterizes the emerging economic space where economy itself becomes a design field.
We can get to the logic of the new economic space not just via a rejection of Hayek, but by drawing some themes of Hayek from the middle of the 20th century and deconstructing them to the 21st century realm of distributed computation and programmable social relations. In essence, if we deconstruct Hayek and indeed conventional economics, the market, prices and profits may be thought of as protocols being followed by a network of agents. But Hayek et al seem to think not. They would concur that prices and profits are protocols, but they analyse as if ‘the market’ is framed instead as a platform: culturally foundational and economically ‘natural’. For them, the market is depicted as a neutral technology into which individuals bring their strategic interests and which, if allowed to operate as it ‘should’, will create ‘equilibrium’ (neoclassical economics) and ‘spontaneous order’ (Hayek). The social ‘good’/’harm’, the commons, the environment, that sits outside these individual interests can only be framed as ‘externalities’, and hence second order considerations.
In new economic space, markets are explicitly defined by distributed network protocols. They are “spaces of exchange”: they structure the space of possibilities for interactions and for the economic properties of the objects populating such spaces. A market is a network and is defined by offer, exchange and accounting protocols that its agents must adopt in order to interoperate as a coherent whole. This emphasis brings to the fore the idea that markets are not “natural”, or innately instruments of capitalism, but can be structured, via redesigned protocols, to open different spaces of possible and to meet visions of different social relationships (for make no mistake, capital is a social relationship). Markets of the new economic space, as networks, are constantly being brought into being in new configurations by the initiatives of it’s agents.
We will elaborate on the nature of the markets in the post-capitalist economic space shortly, but it is first important to frame capitalist markets as distributed network protocols. It is worth quoting Hayek at some length in his mid 20th century contrast between Soviet-style central planning and the capitalist market system, because what he says resonates with the capacities of a cryptoeconomy:
It is in this connection that what I have called the ‘economic calculus’ proper helps us, at least by analogy, to see how this problem can be solved, and in fact is being solved, by the price system. Even the single controlling mind [the central planner], in possession of all the data for some small, self-contained economic system, would not — every time some small adjustment in the allocation of resources had to be made — go explicitly through all the relations between ends and means which might possibly be affected. It is indeed the great contribution of the pure logic of choice that it has demonstrated conclusively that even such a single mind could solve this kind of problem only by constructing and constantly using rates of equivalence (or ‘values,’ or ‘marginal rates of substitution’), i.e., by attaching to each kind of scarce resource a numerical index which cannot be derived from any property possessed by that particular thing, but which reflects, or in which is condensed, its significance in view of the whole means-end structure. In any small change he will have to consider only these quantitative indices (or ‘values’) in which all the relevant information is concentrated; and, by adjusting the quantities one by one, he can appropriately rearrange his dispositions without having to solve the whole puzzle ab initio or without needing at any stage to survey it at once in all its ramifications.
Fundamentally, in a system in which the knowledge of the relevant facts is dispersed among many people, prices can act to coördinate the separate actions of different people in the same way as subjective values help the individual to coördinate the parts of his plan (emphasis added).
So for Hayek, price is the reduction of complexly-layered knowledge (a set of protocols) to a single index. With everyone speaking the language of price and the pursuit of profit as a singular index for decision-making, market interactions are said to generate spontaneous order — but what they actually do is to structure the space of possible.
This index could be based in different knowledge, producing a different logic, a different space of possible. ECSA is seeking to build indices for markets that are not driven by profit maximizing and self interest, but still rely on index movements to measure surpluses and to trigger trading strategies for agents that lead to wider economic decisions about what is produced and how. We depict these as the performance indices of the new economic space.
We should note the way in which Hayek depicts price as a simplified index that obviates the need for agents to hold full knowledge. Via cultural enmeshment, agents come to believe that price is all they need to know: price can be trusted to incorporate knowledge.
The most significant fact about this system is the economy of knowledge with which it operates, or how little the individual participants need to know in order to be able to take the right action. In abbreviated form, by a kind of symbol, only the most essential information is passed on, and passed on only to those concerned. It is more than a metaphor to describe the price system as a kind of machinery for registering change, or a system of telecommunications which enables individual producers to watch merely the movement of a few pointers, as an engineer might watch the hands of a few dials, in order to adjust their activities to changes of which they never know more than is reflected in the price movement.
Hayek says price embodies complex information — it creates knowledge of society — and its great functionality is that it is a simple representation of that complexity. But notice, in Hayek’s framing, that price may be the condensation of a complex set of knowledges, but knowledge is not intended to be reverse engineered from price.
This 1940’s advocacy of ‘the market’ and trust in ‘prices’ may stand strong as an alternative to 1940’s central planning, but 75 years on the argument must be different. The ‘imperative’ to have market protocols design a single measure called ‘price’ must be seen as a design choice. (Or if it is inappropriate to depict past history as a ‘choice’, we can certainly depict the future as involving choice.)
Instead of knowledge being condensed into ‘price’ in a capitalist discourse, current technology can enable knowledge to be compiled and stored for a potential range of uses, not just market price formation.
Price is, after all, no more than an index: it measures relative exchange values (between commodities; over time). But in the hands of Hayek and the neo-classicals, with their version of ‘the market’ naturalised as a platform, price can be treated socially as an absolute social measure. Indeed this is the analytical objective: to create the impression that price formation is the social expression of the natural order of markets. Prices slide from being technically relative values to be presented socially as absolute values. This is central to the idea of trust in a (fiat) money system. But the absolute measure is a social and political construct — social and political expression — and it can be changed. The appearance of cryptocurrencies, offering potential for so many different benchmarks for valuation, makes that potential social construction stark.
Why then is ‘price’ as we currently understand it the privileged index of valuation? Why do we not use (for example) sociality (social impact) as the privileged index of valuation? Or environmental impact?
The answer is that price defined in a discourse of profit and denominated in fiat (state) money is a measure that expresses the social and cultural values — the politics — of a capitalist society. In using this notion of price as the privileged measure we assume that: (a) output is conceived as ‘scarce’ and price is a means to ration allocation; (b) production for the market is valued over production for direct use (for the latter generates no price) and © profit is embedded within price (people take things to market so as to make a profit). In a capitalist society, those priorities seem appropriate: they capture the values of that society.
We believe that these social and cultural norms — and the ways of behavior and subjectivity embedded in them — follow to a critical degree from the nature of ownership and collateralization of assets and control over the issuance of and access to the dominant form of money and credit, i.e. certain protocols.
The challenge mounted by ECSA is to make stark that ‘price’, as it is conventionally understood, can be re-framed as just one set of protocols and one set of participants on those protocols but not, as Hayek would have us believe, the only set of protocols. In the context of risking together, distributed ownership and distributed issuance of money, these social and cultural norms will be profoundly challenged.
2.5 Do ‘big data’ change the story?
We will put to one side the social issue of who gets to use big data: an issue that has become prevalent with popular critiques of the data mining of organizations like Facebook.
In the current context, we must challenge Hayek’s claim that society needs ‘price’ as a simple index to guide market actors who cannot be expected to de-code the full complexity of economic processes. Even if it were true in the mid 20th century, it is hardly true now. A myriad of data are now available that enable people to make choices informed by data other than ’price’, and Hayek’s vision of spontaneous order could cohere around indices other than price. But it is important to be careful about how these data relate to price.
We now see a growing literature proclaiming that the emergence of big data is dramatically transforming, even abolishing capitalism. Often they are using Hayek’s work as their point of departure. Viktor Mayer-Schönberger and Thomas Ramge, the authors of Reinventing Capitalism in the Age of Big Data, for example, tell us that we no longer need to see all knowledge reduced to ‘prices’. Directly-accessed data will supplement and in some ways supplant prices as the critical source of information. This, they say, challenges the role of money in a capitalist society.
ECSA half agrees. We do not believe that data will somehow sit alongside price as an additional input to decision making, for data will be incorporated into pricing, and product design (and marketing) will become more differentiated in response to the patterned diversity revealed in data. But ECSA concurs that the role of capitalist money will indeed be challenged. Yet the challenge will not be by recourse to an amorphous mass of statistics. It will occur via the invention of new, different indices: new modes of ‘money’ (tokens) expressing different social knowledges. Diverse tokens will themselves express a ‘market’ for innovation in social valuation: a market far more important than competition over prices.
Cryptographically enabled networked economic systems present us with other ways of processing complex information. We can have ‘price’ include criteria for, inter alia : human rights, working conditions, income distribution, environment, social impact, etc. Indeed in a decentralised process, there can be negotiation over just what criteria are included. Potentially none of those criteria will be benchmarked to profit.
The new economic space supports different values, and different value creating endeavours, calling forth different modes of calculation. We want to build a set of indices (it is not necessary to reduce to one, as capitalist price does) that condense social information on what matters in a process parallel to the way Hayek depicts ‘price’ but with derivative positions. A consideration of the compilation of such indices is addressed in section 4.
2.6 A derivative framing of Hayek
To get to this alternative, we can take some important insights from Hayek’s method, deconstruct and ‘rebuild’ them to facilitate our own goals. In our analysis here (and especially in the ECSA Political White Paper) we invoke, after Randy Martin, the ‘social logic of the derivative. This means taking the logic of financial derivatives (futures, options and swaps) and giving them social application. Furthermore, it means understanding that these financial instruments have just adopted and objectified a social logic that is not “owned” by them, which predates them, and will now, in the new economic space, be reappropriated from them. A derivative social logic is something more than just a financial technique, it is a social value creating form, a risk generating practice, a practice which arbitrages, speculates and leverages about being able to act together on a certain gap, an opening or an opportunity: it is a social logic beyond profit-taking exchange and ownership. It embodies the idea of “risking together” — facing a risk or an uncertainty, an interval where outcomes not yet knowable, together — to capture the upside of this volatility. It allows us to value and sense the ways we are linked together. It is in this sense, the ECSA is and is building a volatility instrument.
In finance, a derivative involves the purchase of an exposure to the ‘value’ of an underlying asset without (necessarily) purchasing ownership of the underlying asset itself. Derivatives therefore trade risk positions: the risk of the price of a barrel of oil going up or down, without trading the barrel of oil. Options, as critical forms of derivative, enable the coverage of risk in one direction, but not the other: they can insure against prices going up, or they can insure against prices going down.
We can frame Hayek’s analysis in the context of risk and derivatives. There are two dimensions here.
- In the era of blockchain and big data, and in the language of Gilles Deleuze, we can dividuate knowledge: break it down into its underlying, determining elements (that Hayek thought were too complex to code), but without necessarily aspiring to see those elements combined so as to ontologically privilege the totalised category of a singular ‘knowledge’, linked to ‘price’. Knowledge is a synthetic asset; an assembly of processed information. Its purpose does not have to be the formation of ‘market price’.
- It follows that we can think of Hayek’s price as itself a derivative on those underlying forms of information of which price is said to be the condensate. In Hayek’s analysis of ‘The Price System as a Mechanism for Using Knowledge’, ‘price’ is really the strike price on the option on a synthetic asset called ‘knowledge’. (Individuals in this framing hold out-of-the-money options where they are priced out of the market and the return on in-the-money options is what neoclassical economists call the ‘consumer or producer surplus’.)
This same logic can be applied to the performance indices of the new economic space: we are in the domain of producing ‘social derivatives’ and trading those derivatives through token markets. This warrants some explanation. It is important first to clarify what we mean by markets in the new economic space before we turn to social index derivatives.
Dick Bryan, PhD, is a prof. (emer.) of Political Economy (University of Sydney) and Chief Economist at Economic Space Agency. He is one of the key theorists of the derivative value form, and the author of Risking Together and Capitalism with Derivatives (both together with Mike Rafferty).
Jorge Lopez, is a distributed systems architect and ECSA Chief Architect and Co-founder, based in San Francisco Bay Area.
Akseli Virtanen, PhD, is a political economist, docent at Aalto University and Co-founder at Economic Space Agency. Author of Arbitrary Power. A Critique of Biopolitical Economy and Economy and Social Theory (Vol 1–3, with Risto Heiskala).