Rethinking Labour as Social-Network-Movement


Very recently valuable and concrete reflections are being published, filling in the public understanding of the nature and dynamics of the most-recent social and emancipatory uprisings, known also as Global Revolution. The recent articles written by Bernardo Gutiérrez and Rodrigo Nunes, both involved in the 15M, Occupy, Gezi, and Brazilian uprisings and were systematically putting their self-reflections together in wider framework of a collaborative action-research network also named as Global Revolution, are highly informative and pedagogic. They explain masterfully why transnational ‘organization’ of the global ‘revolution’ is qualitatively different then what we have understood from traditional use of the concepts of ‘organization’ and ‘revolution’. Another important resource was produced by Adrià Rodriguez who have also been very active in 15M, as well as other ‘network movements’ since 201-11, and linked to the Global Revolution Research Network.

I have been involved more directly in Take The Square, Occupy,  and Gezi movement/networks as Bernardo, Rodrigo and Adria, met them online, may be many times under various nick-names and worked together, and still do so. On the other hand I was busy with developing an understanding of the emergent new labour class practices and experiences. My work at Social Network Unionism and  Networked Labour blog/networks have heavily owed to the previous work done by people like Peter Waterman, Hilary Wainwright, Marco Berlinguer, Mayo Fuster as much as others they have been collaborating around the Networked Politics initiative. I was modifying and reshaping this work based on my direct experience. Below papers and reports are those that I published on various digital spaces since the beginning of the 2011 uprisings. Now it seems very worthy to put them together in a chronological order and reproduce once more:

May 2014, Transnational networks of radical labour research and (h)activism

March 2013, Another World Now! The coming of the Transnational Revolutions and the Networked Prince

February 2013, Global unionism: the peer to peer model

October 2012, The Dramatic Rise of Peer-to-Peer Communication within the emancipatory movements

August 2012, Organizing, P2P Networking, and Mapping of the Production Process by the Workers: an Argument for a ‘New Unionism 2.0′ 

August 2011, Global class warfare and the rEvolutionary working-class agency

To note, I was not directly linked to, nor organically collaborated with the nodes of Global Revolution research/action network. Funny but it was simply because I was not aware of them, missed them in the midst of and the high tempo of the practice (of actively, socially and politically making use of the social networking technologies) that enabled, mediated, aggregated, but also massively diffused and complexified those very new collective political practices.

However being part of the same praxis, and reading these recent publications, I have come to realise the remarkable overlapping and similarity between the my work and new  reports coming out from the Global Revolution research-action. The overlapping and similarities are in our understanding and approaches, but also the resources we looked into. It is more remarkable especially when it comes to thinking the new ontology and epistemology of the emerging peer-to-peer networked-movements.

In my opinion, the key importance in all these, lies in the potential that was coming out in front of our eyes since 2011. Which is about the ability to mass-scale some important parts the emancipatory social relationships, and becoming concrete and collective human experience. More importantly ordinary people being experiencing the capacity to generate or concentrate massive social power, and not becoming even known by its collaborators, which made it possible to carry such power by holding from a corner, so by distributing it, instead of being crashed underneath it. On the one hand such praxis have allowed the de-socialisation of Human labour, which resulted in healing or re-creation of the ‘self’ which was poisoned by capitalism. Hence the individual could emancipated at the micro level, and get the experience of being only a small and ‘social’ part of the mass collective, being the common humanity. There are living profs who reconfigures their ‘selves’, as workers/workless, and saw them ‘selves’ embedded part of a unity stitching the nodes each other. This become visualised by digital mapping or other visualisation software. As the source of the social mass power and the way it is produced/generated, concentrated, diffused so on being part of a whole net of social relationships we are part of become sensible, ‘concrete’ in that sense. Such social power at the same time can be thought as a class (de-class) power, and be carried in an egalitarian way by the social network-movements, to be charged against the agency of the infamous 1%. These are all being said to display, how it is becoming more and more possible to envisage the realisation of the radical social emancipation, with its main lines at least, while walking on the road to total dignity.

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One Response to Rethinking Labour as Social-Network-Movement

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