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Transnational networks of radical labour research and (h)activism

Transnational networks of radical labour research and (h)activism

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Published by Örsan Şenalp
Connecting dots in Collective Worker’s Global Brain
Connecting dots in Collective Worker’s Global Brain

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Published by: Örsan Şenalp on Jun 13, 2014
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Appendix to Part IITransnational Networks of Radical Labour Research
Örsan Şenalp and Mehmet Gürsan Şenalp
During the last three or four decades labour, union, research and advocac networks have interacted with networks of anti!capitalist or alter!globalist social "ustice activists #Do$ingue% &''() *ond &''() +ater$an &'' and &'-.
 These interactions have enabled the #self!-organisation of working people across production networks linking the /lobal  North and 0outh #1erk &''2) 1unck &''() *ieler and Lindge$ar &') +allerstein &'3-. 4speciall after the crisis erupted in &''(!5, the process has expanded to include networks of self!e$ploed, une$ploed, $arginali%ed and increasingl radicalised knowledge and service workers #1osco and 1c6ercher &''5-. 7nline social networks such as 8acebook, Twitter, and /oogle Plus, but also free, liberated and open source software #8L700-, offer new experiences co$ple$entar to traditional for$s of organi%ation. 9nprecedented opportunities for exchange, co$$unication, and collaboration have arisen, with $ore and $ore people politicised and organised in the process #1orel &'&) /erbaudo &'&) :enalp &'&-. The result has been a re$arkable convergence a$ong radical social $ove$ents, enabled and aggregated b new!generation online tools and applications #*erlinguer &'') *auwens &'-. Public spaces have been opened up and ;occupied< in a series of popular and grassroots uprisings. This Appendix presents a concise overview of networks constituted around the =uest for ;associated social relations of production<, or ;peer production co$$unities< #*auwens &''>) Rigi &'3-. +hether labelled
hackers
,
makers
,
diggers
,
 guerrilla translators
 and so forth, and involving 8L700 and hardware production, collaborative digital, creative, artistic, $edia, graphic, and architecture pro"ects, or Do!it!?ourself #DI?- or Do!it!with!7thers #DI+7- practices #@arlsson &''5) *erlinguer &''-, these networks connect highl educated individual knowledge, infor$ation, education and service workers. 7ften left with nothing  but their own $ental and $anual labour to survive, the new ;dispossessed< no longer can be divided into ;doers< and ;thinkers< but are being transfor$ed into a single, conscious social
 +e are thankful to Peter +ater$an and /eorge Pr for co$$ents on an earlier version.
 
force #+ater$an &', &'&-. The overview we present is inevitabl li$ited, but si$ilar initiatives and networks operating in other language spheres besides 4nglish, Turkish, and Dutch can easil be traced #/uiterre% &'B-.
A New Urban Knowledge Proletariat
 Neoliberal deregulation and privatisation in the /lobal North have created increasingl  pro"ect!based, co$petitive, flexible and insecure working conditions a$ong highl educated workers #Cessop &''5-. @onse=uentl, a stead process of politicisation has linked radicalised acade$ic workers and students to existing labour research and advocac networks. This is  producing a si%eable bod of innovative and e$ancipator knowledge that will help to understand the co$plexities of globali%ing capitalis$. The internet allows $uch easier access to e$ancipator knowledge, $aking it available for ;transfor$ative< political practices #+ainwright &'3-. Resurgent resistance in and around universit depart$ents, especiall in the social and hu$an sciences, art, architecture, political econo$, $edia, co$$unication, infor$atics, cbernetics etc. has turned the ca$pus once again into a dna$ic space of convergence between labour activis$, research and art #Ross et al. &''() *ifo &''-.Radical knowledge and political practice radiate fro$ universit ca$puses into the surrounding urban spaces) recent debates such as those on ;4$pire< and the new i$perialis$, international historical sociolog, global political econo$, cultural political econo$ and govern$entalit, profit fro$ the persistence of class analsis in acade$ia and a lowering of sectarian barriers. Digital or online pro"ects and "ournals like
 Processed World 
,
 Multitudes
,
 Mute
,
 Meta-Mute
,
 Ephemera
,
 Incognito
,
 Fibre-culture
,
 E-flu
,
 !d-busters
,
 !lter-"et 
,
 "e#  Internationalism
, as well as cultural events organised baround these "ournals facilitates the spread of such knowledge. In addition, integral theorists, cber punk techno!utopians, as well as independent theorists with practitioner, hacker, activist or artistic backgrounds have also  been contributing to the innovative analses of the conte$porar contradictions of capitalist $ode of production. Innovative conceptual tools and notions like general intellect, collective intelligence, i$$aterial labour, affective labour, free labour, ;plabour<, co$$ons and co$$oning, peer  production, p&p #peer!to!peer-, distributed networks, network cultures, and techno!politics &
 
have drawn in new generations of activists) international $obilisations like the ;*attle in 0eattle< in EEE, the /lobal 0olidarit and Custice $ove$ents in its wake, the +orld 0ocial 8oru$, and ;anti!su$$it< and anti!war $ove$ents have created further spaces for rethinking  production, labour and value creation practices #de 0ousa 0antos &''2) *ond &''(-. 0uch  perspectives as ;cognitive capitalis$<, ;co$$unis$ of capital< and ;techno!politics< have  been developed on account of new capitalistic for$s in #post!-industrial sites like 0ilicon Falle or North Ital #Pas=uinelli &'B-. Inspired b art, design and digital practices, post!autono$ist and post!workerist research infor$ed radical political pro"ects such as 9ni! No$ad, 4du!8actor, and @lass +ar 9niversit which clai$s Gdisasse$bling the neoliberal universitH are articulated. 7ther spaces like the +inter @a$ps organised b the A$sterda$! based Institute of Network @ulture #IN@- are exa$ples of innovative pro"ects that have been ;networked<. 7ther pro"ects like @bersaloon, @lass +ar /a$es, per$edia, and spaces like the
 $istorical Materialism
 conferences and Left 8oru$s a$ong $an others have been  providing i$portant spaces for exchange and interaction to researchers, practitioners and activists, as have research networks like Transit Labour, 7rgNet, Institute of Distributed @reativit, Dna$ics of Firtual +ork, the IP4/ working group in the *ritish International 0tudies Association, and @ritical Labour 0tudies. Networked Politics and Networked Labour se$inars have allowed those outside acade$ia to link up with these networks. New counter!culture philosophies such as cberpunk, cbernetics and so on, have contributed to the analsis of ;digital labour< and cognitive or infor$ational capitalis$. The $assive a$ount of critical and radical knowledge has been $apped, catalogued, and $ade e!accessible a$ong others b 1ichel *auwens and his P&P 8oundation.The new wave of ;/lobal 9prisings<, starting in late &'' and earl &', have seen a new $ass ar$ of $arginali%ed and radicalised workers, with high co$puter literac and free ti$e #1orel &'&-. Relativel s$all and isolated, but increasingl spreading and connected networks have been result of intensifing online co$$unication and connectivit #:enalp &'&) /erbaudo &'B-. 0elf!learning and exchange within these co$$unities have been intertwined with various for$s of ;co!produced<, collaborative, or participative politics. 4xchanges on discussion #e$ail- lists such as Net!ti$e, 6ein.org, 7ekonux, +08!Discussion, and Labour and /lobalisation have plaed ke roles here #Rie$ens interview b 3

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