Hello and Welcome

15 Sep

Hi there everyone, and welcome to the Social Media and Radical Politics blog.

I’m planning on using this blog to post information, stories, clips and links related to the broad theme of social media and radical politics. Following the use of BlackBerry Messenger by rioters in English cities just over a year ago, I became intensely interested in the potential of social media technologies to facilitate non-hierarchical organisation. After initially planning on researching ethics and anarchist practices for my PhD, I switched (still in the first year thankfully) and instead began looking at models and frameworks for understanding how technologies that allow for the almost instantaneous transfer of information can reshape how the radical left organises the resistance to capitalism.

This brought me on to organisational cybernetics, a theory developed by Stafford Beer and others in the 1950s and 60s to help explain how an organisation or system could be designed in such a way as to effectively cope with whatever internal and external obstacles it comes across, while crucially, and in fact necessarily, maintaining the autonomy of its parts. While this offers an image of the structure of emergent forms of organisation, such as that which came to define the riots of August 2011, I’m also interested in how it can be put to use in consciously developing anarchist and autonomist Marxist organisational models that eschew the hierarchy and centralisation of traditional leftist groupings.

As my research progresses over the next few years, I’m going to keep you all updated with interesting ideas, connections, articles, experiences and other bloggers’ posts that I think are relevant to the subject of social media and radical politics.

I originally wanted to call this blog ‘The Revolution Will (Not) Be Digitised’, which is the title of my dissertation, but that was sadly already taken and not put to any use. It’s a shame, but what can you do.

I hope you enjoy this blog and find the stuff I post as interesting as I do.

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feigeleh

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