I have been trying to get my head around the idea of a rep economy. And, in short, although a very interesting concept, I cannot see why or how rep would develop to such a success as it has in EP.
In many ways a rep economy is, in terms of economics, similar to a monetary economy. That is, you make or produce things/services people desire and get “paid”. Win-win. The producer/provider receives payment (rep or credits) and thereby certain power (of consumption or otherwise).
The difference is that cash money does not smell, it’s anonymous. Anyone with money can spend it, and no one knows or cares where that money came from. Rep on the other hand is intrinsically tied to a personality, a person.
Given the above, a rep economy seem more oppressive. The successful, ambitious, skilled etc will naturally obtain more rep, and thereby more power. That rep is tied to you – once you are recognized as a low rep person, this is what YOU are, and you will be treated accordingly. In a “capitalistic” economy, at least you are (or rather: your credit status is) more anonymous, and you can always in any way obtain money and thereby power / freedom.
In other words, as the core book says, a rep economy is "more stable", but clearly this is not very pleasant for the people in the economy. If you are unsuccessful, unskilled, anti-social in an autonomous hab (or perceived as such by others) you are fucked forever, to put it bluntly. The powerful will rule and there is no guarantee that they are any nicer than the powerful in the inner systems.
This is not to say that I do not agree with the other parts of EP anarchism, e.g. open-source ideas (including availability of cornucopia machines), individual freedom of choice or individual freedom from coercion. To withhold technology from people, as the powers that be in the inner system do, is terrible (although it strikes me as very unrealistic development of a capitalistic society).
"People think dreams aren't real just because they aren't made of matter, of particles. Dreams are real. But they are made of viewpoints, of images, of memories and puns and lost hopes." - John Dee