Draft text in-progress (post being updated)
Production of revolutionary (emancipatory-liberating) subject and subject of revolutionary (emancipatory-liberating) production Continue reading
Networked Labour University is designed as an educational module to be integrated with a broader network composed of Global Networked Labour Union, Networked Labour Research unit, and networked labour coop GNLU. Tied to a greater ecology of universal, free and open access community projects, such as Faircoop, the Earth Cooperative, all our projects aim mutual empowerment at the bottom level. Unconditional empowerment of the dis-empowered, excluded, and oppressed with direct solidarity is the reason why we exist for. Our platform is designed to liberate knowledge from alienation and domination of any kind at the point of production and distribution. In order to enable money-free access to most essential cultural resources we rely on free/libre, open source software, but the platform also aims to facilitate broader solidarity economy by encouraging and enabling open-cooperative exchanges between participants.
Our invitation is an wide open one, anyone can join and contribute by offering and taking courses, moderating circles or skill shares, helping out with web design, platform development, promotion, or any other way!
Date: 7 May 2015
Time: 14.00 – 17.00 (ECT / UCT+1)
Check-ins (14:00 – 14:15)
Opening and presentation of the system (14:15 – 15:00)
Networked Labour University and Worker to Worker Study Circles
Discussion (15:15 – 16:45)
How to use cross-border communication and which digital tools to build commons knowledge, culture, politics, and economy for the classless society and from the oppressed point of view?
Closing and Check-outs (16:45 – 17:00)
Access: Participation is on-line, open and free. What you need to do to is to open an account on the website below and to selfenrol for the event before. Working languages are English/Turkish
On the Creative Question – Nine Theses
By Geert Lovink, Sebastian Olma and Ned Rossiter
‘Culture attracts the worst impulses of the moneyed, it has no honor, it begs to be suburbanized and corrupted’. ― Thomas Pynchon, Bleeding Edge
‘We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars’. ― Oscar Wilde
1. Goodbye to Creative Industries
A creepy discourse on creativity has captured cultural and economic policy. Creativity invokes a certain pharmacological numbness among its spruikers – a special sub-species entirely unaware of how far removed their version of creativity is from radical invention and social transformation. Their claims around the science of economy are little more than a shoddy con. While ‘creativity’ is increasingly seen as a main driver of economic development, the permanent reference to creative classes, creative cities, creative industries, creative innovations and so on has rendered the notion all but meaningless. Degraded to a commercial and political marketing tool, the semantic content of creativity has been reduced to an insipid spread of happy homogeneity – including the right amount of TED-styled fringe misfits and subcultures – that can be bureaucratically regulated and ‘valorized’. To this rhetoric corresponds a catalogue of ‘sectors’ and ‘clusters’ labelled as creative industries: a radically disciplined and ordered subdomain of the economy, a domesticated creative commons where ‘innovators’ and ‘creatives’ harmoniously co-mingle and develop their auto-predictive ‘disruptions’ of self-quantification, sharing and gamification. Conflict is anathema to the delicate sensibilities of personas trading in creative consultancy.
2. Welcome to the Creative Question
The creative question has replaced the social question. In the 20th century the consequences and problems of industrial capitalism found a temporary solution in the class compromise of the welfare state. In digital capitalism we have to address the social question in terms of the creative question: what is today’s source of value and who owns it? We need to turn the pompous, meaningless chatter on creativity into a debate on how to come out on the positive side of the digital pharmakon (the nuanced combination of all things good and evil). To those who tell you ‘how we are going to live twenty years from now’, shout them down with ideas of how you want to live in twenty years!
SWEATSHOPS, PICKET LINES, AND BARRICADES will bring together designers, labor organizers, theorists, social entrepreneurs, historians, legal scholars, independent researchers, cultural producers and perspectives from workers themselves to discuss emerging forms of mutual aid and solidarity.
The third in The New School’s Politics of Digital Culture Conference Series Sponsored by The New School and The Institute for Distributed Creativity.
Over the past decade, advancements in software development, digitization, an increase in computer processing power, faster and cheaper bandwidth and storage, and the introduction of a wide range of inexpensive, wireless-enabled computing devices and mobile phones, set the global stage for emerging forms of labor that help corporations to drive down labor costs and ward off the falling rate of profits.
Companies like CrowdFlower, oDesk, or Amazon.com’s Mechanical Turk serve as much more than payment processors or interface providers; they shape the nature of the tasks that are performed. Work is organized against the worker. Recent books included The Internet as Playground and Factory (Scholz, 2013), Living Labor (Hoegsberg and Fisher) based on the exhibition Arbeitstid that took place in Oslo in 2013 and Cognitive Capitalism, Education, and Digital Labour (Peters, Bulut, et al, eds., Peter Lang, 2011). In 2012, the exhibition The Workers was curated by MASS MOCA in the United States. Christian Fuchs’ book Digital Labor and Karl Marx is forthcoming with Routledge.
Several events have been organized in the last few years to focus on these developments: Digital Labor: the Internet as Playground and Factory conference (The New School, New York City, 2009 http://digitallabor.org), Digital Labor: Workers, Authors, Citizens (Western University, London, Ontario, Canada, 2009), Invisible Labor Colloquium (Washington University Law School, 2013), Towards Critical Theories of Social Media (Uppsala University, Sweden, 2012), Re:publica (Berlin, 2013), and the Chronicles of Work lecture series at Schloß Solitude (Stuttgart, Germany, 2012/2013).
We would like to continue and elaborate on these discussions by raising the following questions:
via Digital Labor.
Below text is an excpert from unpublished and unedited 2012 article Another World, Now! Coming of the Transnational REvolutions and the P2P Prince.
The modern prince, the myth-prince, cannot be a real person, a concrete individual. It can only be an organism, a complex element of society in which a collective will, which has already been recognised and has to some extent asserted itself in action, begins to take concrete form. (A. Gramsci)
Italian political activist and theorist Antonio Gramsci’s core concepts like hegemony, organic crisis, historic bloc, war of position and war of manoeuvre are central to our understanding of today’s complex global capitalist system as well as the catastrophic changes that are currently taking place in it. Referring to the original concept developed by Gramsci, global political economy theorist Stephen Gill describes the 2008 global financial turmoil as the manifestation of an organic crisis at the global level.  We can also read the outcomes of the global organic crisis following another neo-Gramscian theorist Robert Cox as a mixture of three scenarios he describes. First one is a global (military) Keynesian recovery being pushed by the West. Regional wars moving from the periphery to the centre involving massive destruction of lives, cities and the nature, as we witness it happening since the 9/11. The second scenario is the rise of global fascism in tandem with the regional wars. This has also been happening, especially increasingly in the centre, since 2007; highlighting the race to the bottom caused by the strengthening of totalitarian forms of capitalism at the main contenders like China, Russia and India. Finally and the last scenario is accompanying transnational revolutions, like the uprisings in the northern Africa, Americas and Europe also happening.
What brought humanity to this point is not a secret and also made clear by many thinkers, intellectuals, and activists. The above mentioned article by Gill is only one of the public records. It is very clear however where we have to drive history as the humanity, the third option: Transnational revolutions. Again, following Gramsci and Gill, we can think of the realisation of the transnational revolutions in relation to the ‘Prince’. For his time Gramsci thought of it as the collective subjectivity which will give the moral leadership to a wider counter-hegemonic historic bloc, and shape the form and content of the communist revolution in a national context. And it was the communist part of the working class. Gill referred to the anti- and alter-globalisation movement. Continue reading
Independents Unite! – Preview Edition Now Available
The preview edition of Independents Unite! Inside the Freelancers’ Rights Movement is now available for download. This preview edition includes five chapters. Further chapters will be released in future editions of the book.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Around the world, independent workers are getting organized. No longer an ignorable minority in society, freelancers are waking up to the potential power within their growing number. They are combining through online communities, campaign groups, incorporated associations and even proto-unions to exert influence over their conditions.
Independents Unite! Inside the Freelancers Rights Movement, by Joel Dullroy and Anna Cashman, introduces the concept of the collective empowerment of freelancers. The book provides an overview of the existing elements of the freelancers’ movement, with comparisons of the organizations and campaigns currently at work and the goals they are striving to achieve. It lays out the conditions which have led to the growth of the freelancing workforce to show how the current situation has been purposefully created through political decisions, and can therefore be altered and improved by the same means.
With a foundational text in place, critical discussions on the topic of independent worker rights can continue to develop, in symbiosis with the freelancers’ movement itself.
This preview edition includes five complete chapters:
Introducing the Freelancers’ Movement
How Many? Counting Freelancers
Pushed: How Politics and Ideology Created the Freelancing Grey Zone
The Reaction Begins: How Freelancers are Getting Organized
Case Study: Freelancers Union
The book is available as a free download, in both PDF format and .mobi format for Kindle readers. Supporters may also select to pay a donation to help the authors complete their research and writing.
Download free e-book – €0.00
Supporter – download book with donation – €5.00
Big Supporter – download book with donation – €10.00
When: 10:00, 14 May 2014
Preparatory and test call for planning the ‘Organizing digital labour & digital labour organizing’ workshop. The actual workshop is being planned to take place in Berlin between 23-25 May 2014, during Labour Start‘s 5. Global Solidarity Conference.
To open up the preparation process for the workshop as wide as possible and to allow those interested online participants to test and practice with the online system we will be using, we will be making several test conference calls in coming days. The first call will take place on Wednesday 14 May, between 10.00 am and 15.00 pm [UK time], so wider global participation will be possible during the day.
The draft description of the workshop, which we be taken as the starting point, can be found at ‘Union Upgrading’ Group Wiki created on Organizing Network -which we will be testing and using to document the workshop and the preperation, and to take the minutes. If you like to participate the preparatory call, and the workshop itself please add your name, affiliation, contact information, and any ideas or suggestion of yours on the wiki and click on ‘Save’. In order to be able to use all the functions of the Organizing Network, for instance the wiki, you will need to register first. Please read the user guide for the ON here.
The test call is open to all unionists, labour organizers, social justice activists, free information and knowledge [h]activists, researchers who are interested in and experienced on the topic. The call is especially set up for those who wish to actively collaborate in the preparation of the content of the workshop, and who needs to practice with the digital tools we will be using.
This wiki is a meta-strike developing space created by GNUnion. Inviting interested digital and analog workers, labour and union activists to use it for inventing, initiating and networganising collective hactions to target Meta-Data abuses of the Capital. Besides PRISM contractors, there is a need to forge class struggle against digital capitalists of Amazon.com, Huffington Post, and others who undermines human dignity and rights, gained after hundereds of years fighting back!
*Operation PRISM Knock-out!
Objective: To stop PRISM contractors abusing people and data, and promote an escape route to FLOSS alternatives
Targets: Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Apple, Twitter, Skype, Yahoo
Twitter: GNUnion – One Big Mesh Network
*Operation Mechanical Jurk
Objective: developing direct hacktion operation targeting Amazon.com’s Mechanical Turk mass-exploitative model
All the fists of the world are GNUniting!
First Brainstorm – Online Meeting This Sunday at 13.00 PM GMT
We are the workers whose free labour and privacy has been stolen, and sold
for greed! We have been abused, spied on and betrayed constantly. Before
this massive exploitation and surveillance machine turns into a global
apparatus in the hands of fascism, being operationalized for direct
oppression, we have to unite our fists and strike back!
This May Day is the time… How and what is not decided yet, there are
initial ideas but much is needed to put the global collective intelligence
at work to defend our and our children’s rights and dignity! Join us this
Sunday and bring your most free, creative, powerful and peaceful ideas and
dreams along… We did beat Freon, Caesars, Barons, Kings, Emperors,
Merchants, Industrial Capitalists and Nazis in the past, we can beat the
TNCs, CEOs and 1% as well!
We call all the workers, hackers, makers, farmers, artists, indignant and
outraged to GNUnite all their constructive capacity around the most
spectacular free libre and open sourced swarm to fight back and win!
Hasta la Siempre Victoria!
Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/593164267417330/
HashTags: #WREF, #www
#www call: http://gnunion.wordpress.com/www/
Hosted by GNUnion – One Big Meshwork for All the Working People
Again, 2014 will be full of struggles, actions and mobilisations for a real global change. This Mumble call will be about starting a new series of forums and assemblies that are open to all individuals who will able to make independent efforts from any corporate, state and NGO funded agenda and; who could be exactly themselves when changing the world, when getting together, discussing and collaborating with others; either as a part of a collective, group, network or individually, and by using either online, or face to face means, or both.
Global Networked Labour Union, GNUnion – One Big Mesh Network, is the released 1.0 Beta version of new generation, free to join, borderless worker self-organisation, a work in progress. Its main ispiration is the history, struggle and experiences of Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) on the one hand, and free-libre, and open source software GNU/Linux, on the other.
GNUnion is also inspired by comrades standing against global capitalism in women, Lgbt, immigrant, environmental and social justice movements, Zapatistas, anti & alter golobalisation movements, social forums, free knowledge- information and culture movements; as part of organisations like WikilLeaks, Caos Computer Club, MayFirst People Link, or of recent wave of digital and real world uprisings Anonymous, 15M, Occupy, Gezi and others.
Networked Labour was an outcome of an international seminar held in Amsterdam between 7-9 May 2013. The seminar was initially supported by Networked Politics, transform! europe, Transnational Institute and IGOPNET (Institut de Govern the Polítiques Públiques).
At the end of the seminar several ideas have emerged one of which was to improve this web space and try to transform it into a transnational and distributed network space, through which all of us could build new ties and expand our nets of collaboration.
WHY, HOW AND WHERE YOU CAN JOIN
Supported by transform! europe, Transnational Institute, Networked Politics and IGOPNet, an international seminar on Networked Labour was held in Amsterdam from 7 to 9 May.
Around 25 activists, practitioners, researchers and theorists from various networks , organisations and backgrounds came together to contribute to the on-going debates on the changing nature of the capitalist modes of production, linking it to emerging new social forces and political actors.
The program of the seminar was constructed in an open sourced way. The ‘code’ draft program was designed and shared online prior to the event. According to it, the focus was the impact of internet and telecommunication on production modes, work organisation, and political protest and organisation.
About one year ago, the world attention turned to the nascent powers of expression and action of networked multitudes first in the Wikileaks battle and, subsequently, in the Arab revolutions and the social movements 15M and Occupy. After this revelatory year, dense with threats and promises from a completely new global movement, global governance – painfully aware of the great threat that such autonomous horizontal communication poses to its control – is vigorously attacking digital freedoms.
by Ursula Huws
The workplace has been changed in recent decades by the rise of digital technologies. Parts of a single labor process can be moved around the world, with implications not only for individual workplaces or firms, but for the working class as a whole. Computer operators in India process medical transcriptions for doctors in the United States at one-eighth of what U.S. computer operators would earn, and at four times the salary of an Indian schoolteacher.Within advanced capitalist countries, the workplace has been made more “flexible” through cellphones, e-mail, freelancing, and outsourcing. The same process often makes the situation of the worker more precarious, as they are forced to pay for the tools of their trade, made constantly accessible to the demands of the workplace, and isolated from their fellow-workers.
Huws’ Making of a Cybertariat examines this process from a number of perspectives. It focuses especially on women in the workplace and at home. It examines changing categories of employment, and modes of organization. It shows how new divisions of race and gender are created in the process, and sets out an agenda for negotiating them. It explores the ways in which traditional forms of organization are being reshaped, and questions how the emerging cybertariat can become conscious of their common interests and stand together to struggle for them.
We can reach every point in the world but, more importantly, we can be reached from any point in the world. Privacy and its possibilities are abolished. Attention is under siege everywhere. Not silence but uninterrupted noise, not the red desert, but a cognitive space overcharged with nervous incentives to act: this is the alienation of our times….
—from The Soul at Work
Capital has managed to overcome the dualism of body and soul by establishing a workforce in which everything we mean by the Soul—language, creativity, affects—is mobilized for its own benefit. Industrial production put to work bodies, muscles, and arms. Now, in the sphere of digital technology and cyberculture, exploitation involves the mind, language, and emotions in order to generate value—while our bodies disappear in front of our computer screens.
In the article I give a personal review on some of the important spaces of convergence and mobilisations some of which took place in 2011 and 2012 and others are currently being planned: like, 15O, Joint Social Conferences, Hub Meetings of Indignados, Global May, Agora 99 and Florence 10+10 among others. I also deliver my observations on the dramatic rise of peer to peer (P2P) communication as well as increasing involvement of new generation activists in these spaces and mobilisations. Such developments might allow radical reformist and revolutionary forces to invent an upgraded methodology for working together which might in return make it possible to form transnationally connected and strong alliances between horizontal and less vertical forms of agency, so called movement of movements.
Commons as an Alternative by Jukka Peltokoski on Oct 09, 2012
A directory of social and political movements related to the P2P (participatory), open (open access to knowledge), and ‘commons’ paradigms.
Please read: Mapping a Coalition for the Commons. By Philippe Aigrain.
“The free culture movements comprise a wide range of experiences mainly emerging around the internet and the digital revolution. They have generally developed independently, but they are loosely aligned and show a mutually reinforcing dynamism – a ‘viral spiral’, as David Bollier terms it.