Swarmwise: What Is A Swarm? / SNU: Swarm is a P2P OrgNet!

Swarmwise: What Is A Swarm?

A Swarm is a new kind of organization, made possible by available and affordable mass communication. Where it used to take hundreds of full-time employees to organize 100,000 people, today that can be done — and is done — by somebody in their spare time from their kitchen.

There are many misconceptions about what a Swarm is. Let’s begin by dispelling what it is not.

It is not an amorphous cloud of equals, where nobody gets any decision power. While this would be an ideal society to some, it is not a Swarm.

Neither is it a traditional hierarchical organization where commands are issued top-down and people are expected to follow them. A Swarm may look like this from the outside, but that’s not what it is.

Rather, it is a scaffolding set up by a few individuals that enable tens of thousands of people to cooperate on a common goal in their life. These tens of thousands are usually vastly diverse and come from all walks of life, but share one common goal. The scaffolding set up by one or a few individuals allow these thousands of people to form a Swarm around it and start changing the world together.

This scaffolding doesn’t appear very complex. At its simplest, it is just a means to communicate and discuss the issues the Swarm wants to make a change on, like a forum on a server. The complexity comes with the meritocracy that makes up how the Swarm operates and decides on courses of action as an organism.

As all the people in the Swarm are volunteers — they are there because they think the Swarm can be a vehicle for change in an area they care about — the only way to lead is by inspiring others through action. The founder of the Swarm has a great deal of initial influence in this manner, but he or she is far from the only one. In a typical Swarm, you will find that people inspire one another across all levels and all geographies, with the only common factor being the overall goals of the Swarm that every particular individual chooses to follow.

Significantly, focus in the Swarm is always on what everybody can do, and never what people cannot or must do. Continue reading

The Urban Riots in Britain (David Harvey and…Karl Marx) | via P. Waterman

Feral Capitalism Hits The Streets

David Harvey

“Nihilistic and feral teenagers” the Daily Mail called them: the crazy youths from all walks of life who raced around the streets mindlessly and desperately hurling bricks, stones and bottles at the cops while looting here and setting bonfires there, leading the authorities on a merry chase of catch-as-catch-can as they tweeted their way from one strategic target to another.

The word “feral” pulled me up short. It reminded me of how thecommunards in Paris in 1871 were depicted as wild animals, as hyenas, that deserved to be (and often were) summarily executed in the name of the sanctity of private property, morality, religion, and the family. But then the word conjured up another association: Tony Blair attacking the “feral media,” having for so long been comfortably lodged in the left pocket of Rupert Murdoch only later to be substituted as Murdoch reached into his right pocket to pluck out David Cameron.

There will of course be the usual hysterical debate between those prone to view the riots as a matter of pure, unbridled and inexcusable criminality, and those anxious to contextualize events against a background of bad policing; continuing racism and unjustified persecution of youths and minorities; mass unemployment of the young; burgeoning social deprivation; and a mindless politics of austerity that has nothing to do with economics and everything to do with the perpetuation and consolidation of personal wealth and power. Some may even get around to condemning the meaningless and alienating qualities of so many jobs and so much of daily life in the midst of immense but unevenly distributed potentiality for human flourishing. Continue reading