Saturday, 19 February 2011

Social networks and "leaderless" revolutions

Leaderless Revolution sounds amazing. Sounds like Council Communism come
true : workers organize THEIR OWN revolution, self-manage their own
affairs, take over from the bosses and run the factories in the
interests of the Working Class. The dream of so many Revolutionary
Syndicalists (IWW, CGT, CNT, ...) come true.

However, "lederless" does mean "rudderless". I mean, workers
demonstrating for bread and an end to a promised lifetime of
humiliation, powerlessness and misery, are conscious of who their enemy
is : the bourgeoisie. But they also need to be aware of their own
strength, of their capacity to organize by themselves and of their
ability to REPLACE THE BOURGEOISIE. Such a degree of class consciousness
emerges from the class struggle, is primarily fostered by union activity
empowering people in the workplace to say f*** you to the boss, and
necessitates organizing from the bottom-up throughout a whole nation.
Workers assemble, debate, get info from other localities, debate, call
for regional assemblies, debate, draw up proposals, debate, send these
proposals to the regional assemblies, etc.
Twitter can immensely assist in this task, by making the flow of
information bi-directional. A clear picture of what is going on and the
contributions of each region can rapidly enable workers to form a
picture of the global situation and further their local debates. How
many tanks ? How many weapons ? Which local lackey has fled ? Which
factories are in revolt ? What are the international reactions ? Who is
trying to betray the revolution ?
So social networks are forging the demise of Capitalism (I'm not
kidding). They are the main force driving the increased social
inter-connectedness of workers as opposed to the Capitalist forces
striving to individualize, separate, monitor, transform each worker into
an interchangeable automaton. Marx knew that the social organization
necessary for Capitalism was at the same time the ultimate limit of that
mode of production. Capitalism brings together billions of individuals,
interconnects them through production, and yet limits their dealings
with each other by mediating them through market forces. That is a
contradiction. No man is an island anymore. By providing a means for
workers to communicate INSTANTLY the world over, Capitalism is extending
the process of bringing together disparate producers into a single
factory that meant that workers became suddenly aware of their potential
in the late 19th century. The whole world has been brought into a single
factory, with manufacturing in China, retail in California, accountancy
in Bangalore, advertising in London, ... But now, workers can
communicate with each other, something Marx would have found wonderful
in the extreme.
Soon twitting will be used for precisely that purpose : to galvanize a
revolution, to bring re-enforcements where they are needed, to relay
calls for workers' councils, to express the rage and frustration of
millions, to re-kindle hope, to help a factory restart production under
workers' management, to thwart secret dealings by the bosses and the
army, to indicate which army units are defecting, where weapons are to
be found, to organize the mass encirclement of Army barracks by hundreds
of thousands of civilians...
The only card THEY can play is always the same : Nationalism. Listen to
US, trust in US, obey US. OUR trump cards are of course CLASS and

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