Networked Labour Seminar May 2013

Networked Politics is back!

Networked Labour seminar is initially supported by Networked Politics, Transform! Europe, Transnational Institute and IGOPNet and was held in Amsterdam between 7 and 9 May 2013. The objective of the seminar has been to enhance the ongoing debate on the relationship between the changing nature of capitalist mode of production, emerging new social forces and political actors, and the new alternative ways of political participation by these actors. Our overall focus is on the impact of the internet and informatics on labour, value creation, and production processes and emerging radical communities as new or renewed political agency.

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The new communities and political culture

(new session)We spoke about communities in two different ways: in the positive sense of communities of collaboration like Wikipedia, and of other types which we see as less positive, like YouTube. I was wondering if you’d considered another type, which doesn’t necessarily involve the positive sense, maybe quite the opposite – communities like Second Life for example, which are creating a whole new different society with its own rules. Basically, you can create your own persona and interact in a virtual society where you can buy land, build your own house, etc, and have to pay with real money. You can buy virtual currency and make money out of it too, as many are doing – for example by designing beautiful virtual clothes and selling them to others. Continue reading

Democracy beyond representation

[Hilary Wainwright] The question is, is there a way of engaging with, occupying, the state institutions, while dispersing power from those institutions to autonomous sources of democratic power?

In many ways, the Brazilian experience has been my original inspiration for the possibility of such a process. Now the Brazilian situation depresses me. But it inspired me originally because democracy in Brazil was driven by radical social and trade union movements and by a party, the Workers Party, (PT) founded by these movements. Until recently – and still in many regions and localities – the PT was based on the notion that the creativity and organisation and the forms of democracy of the movement had a real primacy. The best experiences like Porto Alegre, were where the political leaders like Olivio Dutro were really modest and saw their job, when they were elected to political office as being to open the institutions, disperse power, and to help support and nurture autonomous sources of power. Continue reading