Modes of Foreign Relations, Uneven and Combined Development, and Tektology


In 2007 I did write a review article for the first volume of Kees Van Der Pijl’s magnum opus: Modes of Foreign Relations and Political Economy, subtitled as Nomads, Empires, States. The title of my review article was “Modes of Foreign Relations vs Uneven and Combined Development: The Marxist Legacy and Relations between and within Alienated Societies”, and it was published by the journal of International Sociology in 2008. The text is online and can be accessed here. Just for self-crediting note, it was written before the reviewed book won the Isaac Deutscher prize in 2008, and the topic was discussed by a panel during the sixth Historical Materialism conference, which also hosts the Isaac Deutscher prize ceremony. Thus it was written independently from the separate journal symposium held on Cambridge Review of International Affairs in 2009 on the topic; and more importantly without any knowledge of the exchange (Alex Anievas refers in the intro to the CRIA symposium) took place between Justin Rosenberg and Alex Callinicos on “UE&CD and the international” somewhere in 2007.

The second and the third volumes of Van Der Pijl’s trilogy titled as The Foreign Encounter in Myth and Religion and The Discipline of Western Supremacy. Both volumes did exceeded my expectations, satisfying enthusiasm I got with the first volume. Although it was my intention I could not yet write a review for the entire work, nevertheless it would be just to say that Van Der Pijl’s trilogy has already taken its place amongst the 21st century classics. Along the pages of the three volumes Van Der Pijl applies Marx’ method of abstraction, that is historical and dialectical materialism, to the relations between alienated world societies, thus to the field of ‘foreign relations’, independently. Doing so the whole project not only smashes the cold blooded, state-maniacal, and disciplinary ‘International Relations’ to the ground, by a strong argument politicizing and historicizing it based on rich empirical material; but it also does so by providing a brilliant historical materialist analysis for rethinking modern nationalism. Van Der Pijl also claims that applying Marx methodology, in a similar way, on different fields of social life, as ideology, power and so on, and integrating those analyses that would be possible to develop a more complete Marxian state and class theories that are essential to advance the critique of today’s global political economy.

Continue reading

The Making of a Transnational Capitalist Class: CORPORATE POWER IN THE 21ST CENTURY by Willam K. Carroll




PART 1: The Formation of a Transnational Corporate Community
1. Is there a transnational corporate community?
2. Forging a new hegemony: the transnational corporate-policy network, 1996
3. Global cities in the global corporate network

PART 2: Into the 21st Century: The Changing Organization of Corporate Power
4. Transnational accumulation and global networking
5. Transnationalists and national networkers
6. Billionaires and networkers: wealth, position, and corporate power

PART 3: A Transnational Historic Bloc?
7. Constituting corporate Europe
8. Consolidating the transnational corporate-policy network, 1996-2006
9. Hegemony and counter-hegemony in a global field


HackBack founder Phineas Fisher speaks on camera first time through a puppet

July 20, 2016 // 08:00 AM EST

A little bit over a year ago, the normally quiet Twitter account of Hacking Team, an Italian company that sells spying tools to governments all over the world, started acting weird.

“Since we have nothing to hide, we’re publishing all our e-mails, files, and source code,” read a Tweet published on late Sunday, July 5, 2015.

The tweet was accompanied by a link to a torrent file of around 400 gigabytes, practically everything Hacking Team had on its corporate servers: internal emails, confidential documents, and even the company’s source code. Hacking Team, which at that point was already notorious for selling its wares to repressive regimes and governments such as Ethiopia, Morocco, and others, had just gotten hacked.

Hours later, the hacker who breached the company’s computers, and used its own official Twitter account to spread the hacked data and embarrass it, revealed himself to be the same one who the year prior had carried out a similar attack against another company that sells spyware to governments, FinFisher.

Since then, the hacker, who goes by the moniker Phineas Fisher, has kept mostly quiet, except for some tweets on his own Twitter account, and a writeup on how he broke into Hacking Team, which also served as a manifesto of his “hack back” hacking political movement.

Before all this, though, just a few weeks after his hack, I asked him if he wanted to do an interview with some colleagues from VICE Canada, who were working on a documentary on the growing market of cyber mercenaries, companies that sell hacking and spying tools to police and intelligence agencies all over the world.

After some back and forth, Phineas Fisher agreed—with one strange condition.

“I’ll do a video interview if you get kermit the frog (or a homemade non-trademark violating puppet) and a voice actor to read lines I type in chat,” Phineas Fisher told me.

And so, our friends in Canada got a homemade puppet and chatted with Phineas Fisher in his first-ever extended interview. You can watch most parts of the interview in the video below, or read the full transcript (lightly edited for clarity) also below.

Continue reading

Informational Capitalism and Empire: The Post-Marxist Celebration of US Hegemony in a New World Order

Two recent major studies by Manuel Castells and Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri have addressed the future of the capitalist economy, the modern state, and social struggles in the light of new infor…

Source: Informational Capitalism and Empire: The Post-Marxist Celebration of US Hegemony in a New World Order

A Global Networked Labour Response is Necessary | Asia Monitor Resource Center


2000-06-01, Chris Bailey

The trend of modern capitalism is towards both globalisation and networking. These features are closely related, but distinctly separate.

Since the late 1970s, an enormous expansion in the export of capital across national boundaries has taken place. Giant transnational corporations have been carrying out a global ‘rationalisation’ of production and distribution, treating nation-states as largely irrelevant. Neo-liberalism has developed as a political movement accelerating this process by deregulating the cross-border flow of capital around the world.

An explosive expansion of computer and telecommunications technology has accompanied these developments. By shrinking distances, this new technology has been a major factor in the globalisation of capitalist production. It has also played an essential role in bringing about the domination of networked forms of organisation. Although networks of various kinds have existed for centuries, modern computer technology has allowed them to take on new features and modes of operation and made them a central aspect of modern capitalism.

The essential nature of a network and the connection with computer communications has been described by Sally Burch, one of the pioneers of social movement networking in Latin America: “Unlike rigid structures, true networks are essentially flexible. They generate multiple channels of communication in which, as in the functioning of the brain, connections are made as needed and then suspended until a new need arises. In this way, information flows through the channel of least resistance, rapidly making its way to the most dynamic points of the network, on any given issue. Physically, this is very similar to the way the Internet works, and that is precisely one of the reasons why it is so appropriate for any initiative based on networking.”

Computer technology has created the conditions for a global communications network that is essential to the operation of capitalism today. But capitalism has also shown that networking need not be simply limited to communication and the flow of information, it has become a feature of the capitalist manufacturing process itself. In Flexible Dimensions of a Permanent Crisis: TNCs, Flexibility, and Workers in Asia, Gerard Greenfield describes how transnational corporations work with a mass of sub-contractors to bring about what is essentially a networked production system. Here he explains how “the logic of TNC subcontracting” works for Nike’s strategy in Asia: “From July last year, PT Indomulti Inti Industry stopped producing Nike shoes because Nike’s price was too low” and “failed to consider the labour costs and other operational costs. Other subcontractors accepted the lower prices demanded by Nike, and cut labour costs to absorb the loss. On the other hand Nike has cut orders to subcontractors like Samyang, a South Korean-owned factory in Vietnam, in response to the gains workers were making in organising and collective bargaining. At the same time, Nike has increased orders to Yue Yuen, a Taiwanese-owned subcontractor, which is increasing the production capacity of its factories in Indonesia and Vietnam. For Nike, Yue Yuen has emerged as a ‘reliable’ subcontractor because it can ensure both lower prices and more effective repression of workers.” Continue reading

Alexander Bogdanov’s reply to critics of Tektology

bogdanov_alexander_tektology_book_1ON CRITICS OF “TEKTOLOGY”

[Reproduced in Bogdanov’s Tektology, Book 1, trans. Vadim N. Sadovsky, Andrei Kartashov, Vladimir V. Kelle and Peter Bystrov, ed. Peter Dudley, Hull: Centre for Systems Studies, University of Hull, 1996, 322 pp. (English). Trans. of the first volume of the 1989 reprint of the 3rd edition (1925).]

“Tektology” has excited very few critical comments up until now. I shall not speak here about the two to three more or less impartial reviewers, but as far as I know, the strictly polemic literature directed against “Tektology” for these last 11 years may be placed on ten if not less pages. However quantity is not the point: many things may be said in a few words. So I must respond to the examples of this literature that are known to me.

Firstly, a part of V.I. Nevsky’s paper “Dialectical materialism and the philosophy of dead reaction” (in an addendum to the second edition of the book “Materialism and Empiriocriticism”, by V. I. Lenin) is devoted to tektology. three main accusations are advanced in this paper. Here is the first: “Probably A. Bogdanov is the only person who knows what the laws of ingression are; but a reader can not fish out of two parts of his “Tektology” anything more than naked schema that say nothing” (p. 379).

Should I object? I think that any reader, who has at least looked through the book, is already able to judge how flattering V.I. Nevsky’s affirmation of his reader’s inability to “fish out” something more than “naked” schema is to him.

Further: “…However, besides these schemes, both books of Tektology contain a numerous multitude of new terms confusing the description of a metaphysical system that is already vague. A. Bogdanov himself who likes to protest against the barbarian terminology of bourgeois science piles up scores of new terms. What are the names that he has and where are these taken from copulation and conjugation (terms taken from biology), ingression, egression, disingression and system differentiation; and how many combinations of all these symbols he has!” (pp. 379-380).

“Metaphysical system”! According to the ordinary usage of words in philosophy, it means a system operating beyond the limits of experience and possible verification; according to the Hegelian- dialectic usage of words – a system that is alien to the idea of development and proceeds from something motionless, invariable and absolute. The reader will evaluate for himself the composure or, perhaps, the ignorance of terminology that is needed to give such names to the contribution the whole of which is devoted to methods of solving practical and scientific-theoretical problems.

“A numerous multitude of terms”… There are quoted seven terms that is about a half of all the terms really introduced by me. Does V.I. Nevsky believe that it is possible to create a new science of a universal scale, a general methodology of any praxis and theory without using new terms? How may new concepts – so new as V.I. Nevsky himself was unable to understand these and to “fish out” anything from these – be expressed then? There are hundreds and thousands of specific terms in any special science. I have no doubts that many new terms will be worked out in tektology in the process of its development, but its methods will open the possibility of rejecting thousands of the old terms of the different sciences since its task is to find a general thing hidden under a variety of “special” covers.

The third main accusation is “idealism”.

What it is based on? It is argued from the fact – it is fearful even to say – that “Tektology” deals with “different complexes composed of elements of different kinds” (p. 378). But Mach has “complexes” and “elements” also! But Mach is an idealist according to all decrees! Should the proof be continued?

Continue reading


mappingBelow text, dated January 1921, was a lecture that had to wait four years to be delivered after the brake out of the first systemic level communist revolution in Russia -as one of the outcomes of the first of the, as then was called, inter-imperialist wars.

It was exactly 95 years ago, when Alexander Bogdanov had given this lecture at the First Scientific Organisation of Labour ‘Congress’, in Moscow. Alexander Bogdanov was one of the ultraleft protagonists of the Bolshevik fraction, although he did never believe in revolution that comes from the top, by any organizer classes and upon (and for) those who are being organized.

Below article was written in March 2011, in the absence of knowledge of Bogdanov and his work; in order to make a projection of a self-organizing model for workers, taking the recuperation of the knowledge of the entire production process as base for collective action. As such knowledge is normally held by ‘scinetific managers’, experts in organizational management and data extraction from the living labour, who design and redesign the workings of the whole system in accordance with the interest of the company management.

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

After several years of deep study of Alexander Bogdanov, I can today strongly assert that the vison he gives in below text does not reflect a top down economic planing strategy for the revolutionary Bolshevik leaderships.

As in the principle stand Bogdanov showed before Lenin, first and foremost, as well as others; in Proletkult movement, in RDSLP and VPERED, and also in his Red Star; the vision he put forward is a projection into a future society. A society where people are reached to a level of self-organization and empowerment, at the planet level. Economic activity is not taken separate from cultural and political ones; causing  anarchic or dis/less organized whole producing entropy; but instead an advanced, structurally uniform, but built-up-from-grassroots-economic-network the allow full autonomy to its individual constituent parts.. a networked system in which all empowers one, while one empowers all.

That is why I would read the title as peer to peer scientific organization of labour at a societal level…

Continue reading

Expose, Oppose, Propose: Alternative Policy Groups And The Struggle For Global Justice – Less a Review More A Reflection by Peter Waterman

img_1276IWilliam Carroll (with Elaine Coburn and J.P. Sapinski).2016. Expose, Oppose, Propose: Alternative Policy Groups and the Struggle for Global Justice. London: Zed Books. 2016.


This is a book on such an important subject, carried out with such serious theoretical underpinnings and such an original methodology, that it might seem churlish to take issue with what it fails to deal with.[1]

expose-oppose-propose-320x501But, then, 1) I used to teach on international non-governmental organisations (INGOs) and preach on and against NGOisation, 2) I am familiar with various of the alternative think tanks Bill Carroll is writing about and know personally numerous of his informants, 3) the‘subject position’ I here adopt is that of an academic specialist (pensioned but unretiring) on international labour movements, networks and communication. And these three points may allow me to critique a book I would otherwise simply recommend to all those interested in, or working within, the global justice movement,with which the author is himself clearly identified.

But I had better first say why I value the work.

The subject is crucial because, in the absence of any institutional partysan (sic) International (with its official Theory, Leaders, Analyses, Strategies, Anathemas and Factionalisms), such centres – and I stress the plural – play a crucial international role in what we (in at least the international I once worked for) used to call ‘the battle of ideas’.

The theoretical underpinningsof the work are broadly Marxist, primarily of the Gramscianvariety, as suggested by Chapter 1: ‘Hegemony, Counter-Hegemony and Organic Crisis’.

Whilst clearly sympathizing with class analysis, Carroll distinguishes his position from

Many anarchists, autonomist and social democrats [being] based in a commitment to counter-hegemonic globalization […][This] synonym for justice globalism, resonates with a broader, deeper post-Enlightenment, shorn of colonialism–a commitment to rigorous self-criticism and social criticism, as in Marx’s…call for a ‘ruthless criticism of all that exists’. (30. Italics in original)

More theory and often novel conceptualization is however introduced along the way,as Carroll seems to require. Thus, he draws on his background as a radical communications specialist in analyzing the centres’ relations with the dominant and alternative media (177-89).

Continue reading

Cyber-Imperialism Outlined by A.M. Slaugther

Below are the links of the video recordings of the series of talks by Anne Marie Slaughter (see Wikipedia item on her: on her forthcoming book:

Slaughter, Anne-Marie (2017). The Chessboard and the Web: Strategies of Connection in a Networked World. New Haven: Yale University Press

In short, she sounds like a soft evil and talks of soft evil as it is scientific… she is a candidate female Henry Kissinger for new cyber-imperialism.

Here are the links for the videos:

The Chess Board and the Web:
Network strategies for resilience, action, and scale:
Power, policy and leadership in the networked world:

Assange is well, alive, and set to join online tomorrow’s Technological Sovereignty and the Crisis of Capitalism event in Barcelona (8-9 December 2016)

The below event is a very important one itself. Yet what makes it extremely important is the fact that Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks being set to join the event online as a speaker.

As Independent reported about it below, just hours ago Wikileaks’ released full testimony of Julian Assange on the fake charges constructed on him, by the US and European ruling establishment:

Since there has not been any satisfactory information coming about Julian Assange’s conditions, as well as if the web site and social media accounts of Wikileaks are compromised or not, for more then a month, this appearance of today will be a relieve to many who worried for his health and the health of the Wikileaks.

The situation makes the tomorrow’s event an extremely informative and exciting one   now. In case there will be live streaming of the event, or any video records coming out from the event, we will share it and post links on social media. Viewers would have the chance to confirm about Assange’s health situation at least with thheir own eyes and ears in real time.

Here is the program of tomorrow’s event titled:

Technological Sovereignty and the Crisis of Capitalism

Event Details

Date: 8-9 December 2016

Schedule: 10:00am – 8:00pm
Event: Symposium (invitation only) and open community events Auditori Fundació Tàpies

Place: Carrer d’Aragó, 255, 08007 Barcelona, Spain

Continue reading

To all the oppressed peoples and communities of the World: Stand up, assemble, and fight for your peace, life, and dignity!


To all the oppressed peoples and communities of the World: Stand up, assemble, and fight for your peace, life, and dignity!

A section of the global ruling class, namely liberal capitalist faction, had been long pursuing its own program and agenda to counter the rise of Chinese and other national capitalist classes from Russia and others, in a contestation to the program and agenda of the other, conservative, globalist ruling class faction.

The way such an in fight of the elephants was given, by forming and funding alliances of and with progressive left and left liberals, as well as libertarians and some segment of anarchist and communitarian groups, have not only resulted in wide mistrust to left in general, but also caused the failure and expansion of the extreme, right wing, and fascist politics and politicians like Trump, Putin, Netanyahu, Erdogan, May, Le Pen, Wilders, ISIS, and others, across the world, and resulted in expansion of conflict and wars in the periphery of the falling Western Empire.

At the end, the entire world was brought once more to the brink of yet another inter-capitalist and imperialist world war, where nuclear arsenal can be unleashed to burn-down billions of innocent people globally.

Below movie, is a summary of the globalist-liberal elite take on coming war on china (by John Pilger):

Read the piece by Pilger published by New Internationalist

It is often less known, by public, or well known but self-suppressed that, the never ending ‘war on terror’ has already been a ultimately a war given on China, as well as other rising ruling class factions that capitalist system fostered.

The global liberal elite response, to which the above piece is only one example, has been serving the purpose of managing the chaos for the benefit of own class. It was always biased towards the future interest of the groups led by Al Gore, George Soros, sort of people and their elite clubs. Such interest was of getting the grips of ‘global governance’, sort of soft imperialism backed by just wars and interventions justified only for the capitalist West. The result have been everywhere the rapid increasing of military conflicts and erupting of the clashes between local, national and global ruling class factions, turning many countries into blood bath though wars, at the end of the day, launched on the innocent and oppressed governed people.

So what gets cristal clear today is that such a global war, this time directed on China, and Russia, is about to be triggered and launched either with a false flag or covert action, as it was with first and second word wars, within the coming months; before Donal Trump takes over the White House. Thus, just before the global ruling classes -led by the conservative fractions’ agenda expressed by Hillary Clinton’s election campaign- would totally loose touch with the deep state structures in the Western / NATO countries.

What will the launch of such a global war mean for the masses of oppressed peoples and communities in Europe, US and everywhere, is nothing else than the expansion of the tragedies and destruction we have been witnessing with the imperialist wars in Africa, Middle East, Eastern Europe, and inner Asia, since the 90s.

The most important lesson we can draw from all these, and from the experiences of the last decades, is that not any program or campaign neither by intellectual left nor its global liberal elite counterpart launched with the purpose of gaining counter-hegemonic political power, would be able to stop this coming war.

Such effective action for peace can only be led by those upon whom this global war is really launched.

Thus the remaining time for the oppressed peoples of the world are extremely limited. The final count down has already begun! 

The remaing time will be historically decisive for all of the humanity, if not for entire life on earth. 

This can be the last call, for all.

Thati s why we wish to call, and bag all of you who is reading this call, to get yourself organized and set forth your local, national, and international People’s Assemblies for Peace.

Please do so, and discuss the ways and possibilities for stopping the coming third world war, and for transcending the capitalist and imperialist system that is about the destroy the world and life on earth.

We beg you to connect and hug each other and with other assemblies in mutual respect, love, and recognition of personal and collective autonomy, cultural and ideational differences.

Please keep your self respect and creativity while looking for ways and tools to deliver  your findings in touch together with others’ into coherent and homogenous bodies; accessible and deliverable messages and clues, as strong and universal expressions of such collaboration and solidarity for common humanity.

This is the day for common humanity to rise and fight together for not only survival but for getting a final chance to create genuine wold in dignity.

One for all, all for one.

Social Network Unionism

Coca-Cola workers strike in 3 Chinese cities

Coca-Cola workers in three Chinese cities have gone on strike following the company’s announcement that it will sell off its bottling operations in the country.

The company announced that it will divest its bottling stakes in China last Thursday between Swire Beverage Holdings Ltd. and China Foods Ltd., part of state-owned COFCO.

Workers protesting at the Coca-Cola factory in Chengdu. Photo: Tianya/ty_一路上有你706.

According to the Chinese service for German broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW), workers in Chongqing, Chengdu and Jilin held protests and went on strike on Monday, causing plants to halt production. They were protesting over concerns that COFCO will cut staff after it takes over.

According to photos of protest banners on social media, workers in Jilin and Chongqing are requesting meetings with the beverage giant to communicate their concerns. They demanded that no changes be made to conditions such as regular raises, staff positions, benefits and other entitlements within two years. They also requested a buyout offer from the company.

Workers protesting at the Chengdu factory. Photo: Tianya/ty_一路上有你706.

Keegan Elmer, a researcher at Hong Kong-based NGO China Labour Bulletin (CLB), told HKFP that it was exceptional to see workers taking apparently coordinated action against a multinational company across three different cities.

Workers protesting at the factory in Jilin. Photo: Weibo.

From the common protest banners, common lists of demands and the fact that the protests occurred at roughly the same time, it is clear that they were coordinated, Elmer said.

“It’s increasingly common, actually. Workers’ organisation skills have been increasing over the years.”

….click her to read on the rest of the article

PepsiCo squeezes workers in Pakistan and they need a hand from you!

PepsiCo workers in Pakistan are fighting for their rights and the company is responding by harassing and threatening union officers, pressuring workers to leave the union and creating a bogus union.

The International Union of Food Workers (IUF) has launched a classical campaign to support the workers.

Please take moment and read the workers’ stories in their own words as IUF publish them:

To send a message to PepsiCo, via official IUF system click here:

Alternatively, and most importantly please think of any creative and autonomous action, choose your own way, to support and give voice Pakistani workers’ cause.

Do feel and remember that millions of people every day being harassed by imperialist, capitalist, transnational corrupt corporations and their regional, national and local subsidiaries. Let’s make noise for and with fellow humans where ever they struggle.

In global and networked solidarity!

Fb: Social Network Unionism

Tektology of the Emergent Transnational Managerial Class: From Imperialism to Cyber Imperialism, Current Highest (May be the Last) Stage of Capitalism

Tektology is a comprehensive methodology. Upgrading Dialectic and Historical Materialism of Marx and Engels, with Energetism of Mach and Ostwald, it was founded by Lenin’s most important challenger Alexander Bogdanov Malinowski, between the late 1890s and 1920s. It was developed as a radical critic of Taylor’s Scientific Management yet beyond that in order to look at the entire universe and all its properties from an ‘organizational’ and ‘class’ points of view; in order to discover and study common / general patterns and mechanisms in the emergence, transformation, evolution, and demise of all complex elements and systems forming human experience, and rebuilt it in an emancipatory way. Although it is recognized as the forerunner of the modern Cybernetics of Norbert Wiener, and the General Systems Theory of Ludwig von Bertalanffy, some claims that Tektology was going further then the two and foreseeing many later discoveries made in these latter fields, following the developments in the 20th century.

This evolving project aims at visualizing and mapping the connections and dots for a longitudinal analysis of the emergence of a Transnational Managerial Class; which has been emerging form the early 20th century; the time of Tektology and the scientist-intellectuals in the West; from revolutionary Russian intelligentsia -later turned into Nomenklatura- to the management gurus and futurists of post-war period: such as James Burnham, Peter Drucker, Alvin Toffler, Jeremy Rifkin. Tracing such agency until today, the research aims at making off  such a transnational class, emerging within and between ideologies and planning practices of communism and capitalism. Such a class might finally be asserting itself as the agency of a new global ruling class fraction, with the eruption of 2007-8 crisis and claiming the commanding heights for itself. Doing so by declaring that it would be able to lead the world to an alternative route beyond capitalism: Post-capitalist world. With the concomitant rise of ‘cyber-imperialism’, at the current highest stage of capitalism, we might be witnessing this new class confronting the transnational and national capitalist class fractions as well as the emergent ‘collective worker’. Therefore, the history of neoliberalism and rise of global governance may be about to become the history of the endgame for the current mode of production. The “collective worker”, agency of the global working class/proletariat, that would be the one challenging and contesting the alternative route to capitalism for its own terms. Providing an alternative to both the global capitalism vision as the agency of ancient regime holds on; or the cybernetic ‘post-capitalist’ managerial system which is promoted by this emergent new global ruling class candidate.

For our argument’s sake, the form of organization for such class agency will be traced and mapped too. This form is the  established network form, around which managerial classes agency is linked to, fused with, and convert those heads of corporations and state apparatus, the state-society complex (as in Cox, 1981): in academia, military, trade unions and NGOs, policy groups etc. While the Corporation, and Corporate Governance are legal manifestation of such organizational form in the business dimension of the ‘civil society’; the WB, IMF, OECD, UN Agencies (as transnational quasi-state apparatus) and policy planing think-tanks: like Council of Foreign Relations, New American,  Bilderberg, Trilateral Commission, WEF, Open Society, Open Knowledge, New Economic Thinking Foundations, etc. are manifestations of such form in the political realm.



Learning the Future: Bogdanov, Neurath, and Scientific Socialism


By Edmund Berger

Socialism has had a sort of poor track record as of late when it comes to science and technology. From Stalin’s violent repression of Mendelian genetics (and privileging of the pseudo-science of Trofim Lysenko) to the modern contemporary contingencies of anarcho-primitivists, it’s often easy to see what is ostensibly an ideology of advancement oscillating itself between confirmations of the worst despotisms of the dominant, capitalist order, and regressive attitudes towards the raw materials of possible emancipation. The paranoia of computers, simulation, and modelling that blossomed in the 1960s and has persisted until recently recalls, uncomfortably, the anti-scientism of climate change deniers. Where it does embrace technoscience, it adopts them as adjacent to, but not directly bound up within, the emancipatory project. Radical experiments in leftist technoscience, be it Chile’s CyberSyn or the Soviet Union’s own attempts at some form of cybernetic socialism during the Khrushchev years, have fallen by the wayside and are obscured from view. Critical theory continually returns to Situationist discourse, but always seems to focus on those elements that foreshadow insurrectionary anarchism and communization theory. It ignores the constructive side of the ‘construction of situations’ equation – the side on which we can find Constant Niewunhuy’s New Babylon, or Asger Jorn’s celebration of automation.

This is what I think is the greatest strength of Nick Srnicek and Alex William’s Inventing the Future – the reinstallation of technoscience as something intrinsic to a radical, left wing program. Automation, synthetic biology, artificial intelligence, and the planning of complex economic systems all find their application of the largely imaginal[1] horizon of a post-work world. Far from their inevitable brutal application under capitalist control, they offer a vision of technoscience as emerging from long-term state investment (where it emerges from in our current world, anyways) under the direction of democratic control by the population. Alongside this, breaking beyond capitalism requires the repurposing of existing technologies and infrastructures, to unmoor the class structures and exploitative mechanisms designed within their application. Building on Spinoza, the two suggest that “we know not what a sociotechnical body can do. Who among us fully recognizes what untapped potentials await discovery in the technologies that have already been developed? What sorts of postcapitalist communities could be built upon the material we already have?”[2]

Such a program – of developing new technologies through democratic mechanisms, and the repurposing of existing technologies – implies the generation of a sociotechnical literacy (to borrow a term from Arran James). How can a population be brought up to the level of being able to have substantial input into this sort of dynamic reformation? In a time when anti-scientism has yet to wane, how can the working class – and the surplus populations – learn of complexity, modeling systems, and the way that these technics and techniques exist in reciprocal feedback with the ebbs and flows of the population? True, outlets for learning of these things exists, but they remain shunted off in the university (itself repurposed long ago as training grounds for the petite bourgeoisie) or behind exorbitant paywalls. These privatizations of knowledge and knowledge production find their match in cultural attitudes and mores that tell the working class that these forms of knowledge are irrelevant to their daily situations – unless, of course, there is a perceived threat to their pocketbooks. To build a sociotechnical literacy, essential to a future-oriented hegemonic project, thus requires the building of an educational infrastructure that will help people to navigate the cutting edges of technoscience, while also speaking to them on a cultural level.

Continue reading

A Digital Capitalism Reading List

Tektology – Energetic Materialism: The Bogdanov – Sultan Galiev Connection

13th Historical Materialism Conference London, November 10-13, 2016

Örsan Şenalp,


Alexander Bogdanov and Mirsaid Sultan Galiev are two forgotten precursors of the 1917 Russian Revolution. Both were scientist, artists, teachers, and political leaders who were eliminated by the primary names of the Revolution. Bogdanov lost his leadership quarrel with Lenin, and Sultan Galiev was the first Bolshevik leader Stalin arrested. Bogdanov was leading the Moscow branch of the Communist University, and Sultan Galiev was one of the managers at the Kazan branch. Bogdanov’s life work and magnum opus Tektology is recognized as a forerunner of modern Structuralism, Cybernetics, General Systems, Chaos and Complexity Theories -which have shaped the development of ‘bourgeois sciences’, during the 20. Century. On the other hand Sultan Galiev is seen as the father of ‘Third Worldist Revolutionism’, because of his political vision, called ‘Muslim National Communism’, and the strategy he developed for the creation of ‘Colonial International’ to lead the world revolution. While Bogdanov’s work was first of its kind that was updating Marx’s Dialectical Materialist methodology in a way that could provide systematic principles, uncovering patterns, generalizations and simplification to analyze the complexities inherited in every kind of living and nonliving systems as well as their change; Sultan Galiev’s theses can be seen as predecessor to the structuralist analyses of global capitalism and imperialism delivered in late 60s and 70s by theorists like Althusser, Foucault, Balibar; Dependency theory of Baran and Sweezy, or ‘Capitalist World-System Analysis’ of Wallerstein and his colleagues. However, despite the physical and psychical proximity of the spaces they lived, work they did, people they met, and vision they developed, there has been no historical study establishing the relationships between these two significant figures of the Soviet Revolution. Proposed research, as part of a broader project analyzing further the contemporary relevance of Bogdanov and Sultan Galiev’s theory and practice for global labour class formation and organizing its emancipation, aims to trace such relationship by investigating any influence of Bogdanov’s elaborated scientific philosophy (Empriomonism / Tektology), on the political and strategical vision developed by Sultan Galiev (Muslim National Communism and Colonial Internationalism). My starting point is the key article written by Sultan Galiev in 1925, which caused his second arrest in 1928,  where he claimed deploying ‘Energetic Materialist’ methodology, with his own words “more radical strand of revolutionary philosophy of Historical and Dialectical Materialism” (Sultan Galiev, 2016), when building his political analyses and world revolution strategy. It was well known, then and now, that it was Bogdanov who did dedicate his life time effort to advance Marxist methodology by synthesizing ‘incomplete-monist’ Energetism and Empriociticism of Ernst Mach, Wilhelm Ostwald, and Richard Avenarius, and Dialectic and Historical Materialism of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Although the term ‘Energetic Materialism’ reemerged in 70s and 80s with the work of Gilles Deleuze, for the time of Sultan Galiev the only source for  such a ‘rebranding’ had to refer Bogdanov’s work. My initial research questions thus are: Were there any direct or indirect personal relationships, or correspondence between Bogdanov and Sultan Galiev? and to what extend the philosophy and methodology developed by the former did influence the political analysis and practice of the letter? I will study relevant archive material, analyze and compare published and unpublished writings in their originals, and map the social networks of the two figures to find answers to these questions.
Keywords: Alexander Bogdanov, Mirsaid Sultan Galiev, World Revolution, Science, Philosophy, Methodology, Dialectical Materialism, Historical Materialism, Energetic Materialism, Empriomonism, Tektology, Emancipation of Labour

—– Very early draft work in progress —-

Next Post Capitalist Convergence Call Monday 5th Sept 19:00 CET, 13:00 EST

Info for the next call: 

The aim now is to host regular calls every Monday.

The next cal is Monday 5th Sept 19:00 CET, 13:00 EST

There was a low turn out last week so if the times don’t work for you let us know.

Be sure to read the list of initiatives. This call is also open to those who could not attend the forum.

The call will be through English.

Please RSVP to confirm your participation by emailing Kevin.

You can reach him by email

We will aim be online 15 mins before start time to help with connection issues.

In line with values expressed in the initiatives please use FLOSS (free libre open source software) as much as possible for communications. The call will be on Jitsi as an alternative to Skype and Google. Please test Jitsi works with your browser in advance of the call. The invitation is open for more technical participants to connect and share knowledge and learning with non techies.

The meeting room is –

Please turn off video as this can be demanding on bandwidth and also press mute when not speaking to avoid call interference and feedback.

It is also good to have a backup option. For this it is proposed to use

Here is a list of local numbers you can call from your country

Once you call follow the instructions and enter the following code 2393366# to join.

In advance of the call to learn more about who is joining please introduce yourself on the mailing list and include information about initiatives/projects/organisations you are involved with and your interest in the initiatives proposed during the convergence. Which you can review below and here

You can volunteer and assist in keeping minutes and notes from the call on the pad –

About the Initiative

On Wed 10th of August over 150 people attended the Convergence on Post Capitalist Transition at the 2016 World Social Forum in Montreal. It was clear from the many discussions and initiatives present that ‘There are Plenty of Alternatives’ to capitalism and neoliberalism. Following the convergence activists convened at the WSF Agora on Sat 13th of August and came to agreement to work together on common goals and actions.

For updates and developments see
and sign up to the mailing list

Over the next 3 months from Sept to Nov 2016 the initiators of the Post-Capitalist Convergence will host a series of online dialogues with the aim of supporting networking and the creation of working groups for shared actions –

1) To transition to a post-capitalist society and challenge capitalism on local, regional, national and international levels by building political power, through participatory democracy, local assemblies and economic democracy.

2) To support and extend trans-national networks of solidarity.

3) To share knowledge and experiences of transition initiatives, in all their diversity, through both networking and popular education.

4) To develop policies and practices to support inclusive initiatives that respect women, gender diversity, ethnic, religious and cultural diversity.

5) To support the creation and issue of alternative and community currencies.

6) To move away from societies based on mass consumption towards societies where resources are cared for, upcycled, recycled and shared. This also requires political action and transformation to move beyond economics based on extractivism.

7) To use non-corporate communications tools (Dégooglisation). To Support Independent media and control of communications infrastructure that respect and protect the privacy and free expression of activists based on Free Libre Open Source Software.

8) To get the influence of big money out of politics.

9) At a fringe meeting in the context of the World Social Forum 2016’s Commons Space, members of Transformap, RIPESS and Greenmap decided to convene for Mapping the Alternatives during a Winter Camp late 2016, early 2017.
With no more than 15 participants – contributors to different movements, programmers and common users among them – this Winter Camp in the form of a Deep Dive shall allow for an in-depth analysis of the existing challenges to a distributed, semantic mapping process. This will help distill collective steps to meet the shared vision.
The concrete aim is to prepare an international mapping happening at a site where caring oikonomies are alive. This event is mainly conceived as a productive open space. It combines various local mapping activities in multiple workshop formats and takes place during 2017.

10) To build a shared political agenda for the advocacy of Commons. To develop Commons Charters for the defence and creation of Commons. Taking inspiration from initiatives such as the Bologna Regulation of the Urban Commons and the Barcelona Procomun declaration.
As a first action in this direction the following call from WSF participants to GSEF participants (Global Social Economy Forum) to adopt Urban Commons Charters –

From participants to the WSF who met in Montreal (August 9th-10th 2016) to the municipal elected officials and actors of the SSE gathering/convening at the GSEF in Montreal (September 7th to 9th 2016).

Proposed by the Commons Space, the Post-capitalist Transition Convergence Assembly, which included many thematic spaces of the WSF (Emancipation, Degrowth , Environment, SSE, Open Technology), invites the GSEF to study and recommend that cities adopt an Urban Commons Charter. The crafting of these charters should be based on the principles of participation and co-creation by all the citizens. These charters should give an institutional, economic and juridical framework for the emergence, self-organisation and sustainability of civic commons initiatives in cities. They also should stay open to contribution by citizens and be part of a proactive participatory decision-making process in all aspects of city life.
GSEF participants can refer to the Charters developed in many European countries, like Italy (97 cities with commons charters), France and its annual festival ‘Cities in Commons’ or Spain, where the city of Barcelona contributed recently, with civil society actors, to the development of a policy framework based on the social and political principles of the Commons.

There is common ground with other initiatives that were presented at the Agora and we hope we can work together on those points.

For further information, Future French language translation, contacts and follow up please see the following pad for details –

We invite all organisations who participated in the convergence and support the initiatives to add their names to the document.

Another World is Possible