Sumptuary cultures as economic regulation protocols

I think a reframe from commons to sumptuary terms of reference would strengthen the argument in @trent [enclosure essay](ROTW: Capital and enclosure in software commons: Linux & Ethereum. It’s not kings vs commoners or feudal nobility. It’s kings vs guilds. Sumptuary cultures and guilds are 2 sides of same coin.

For more modern terms of reference, the trade-union movement before the AFL-CIO merger, esp on the AFL side was obviously a sumptuary culture. That’s one of the dangers of sumptuary regulation. It can easily slide into things like racism and xenophobia. Sumptuary cultures lend themselves very well to capture by prejudice-based mimesis dynamics. What we call “structural racism” today is largely sumptuary racism since formal legal backing has largely been dismantled.

In modern examples, things like swag and stickers on laptops are markers of sumptuary culture, not tribal culture as commonly assumed. Tribal markers represent allegiances to loosely defined kinship groups and clans. Sumptuary markers represent allegiances to norms and practices. Especially in crypto. In regular startup land, corporate stickers are more like traditional tribal markers.

Coats of arms and heraldry are a transitional regime of symbolism, in between kinship-based tribes and sumptuary-norm-based guilds.

This also makes me think crypto is free citizen ”towns” while Silicon Valley is feudal “country” with serfdom.

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