Redefining Historical Agency 1.: Rites of Passage

In the 1960s, authors on the left gradually disconnected revolutionary historical agency from the working class and the city. The onset of deindustrialization began to transform the identification of industry with urbanity and of industrial workers with socialist and communist politics, as factory closings left ghostly spaces perceived as zones of economic and social ‘regression’.… Continue reading Redefining Historical Agency 1.: Rites of Passage

Rural-Urban in Socialism (General Observations 1.1)

The political failures of the Soviet Union, combined with decades of deindustrialization in the West, have inspired large swaths of left writing to argue that socialist or communist utopia can only take place in small settlements. From green anarchists such as Murray Bookchin, through less inspired primitivist, anti-civilizationists or (Maoist-turned-liberal) green propositions to contemporary radical… Continue reading Rural-Urban in Socialism (General Observations 1.1)

(Specters) Jean-Baptiste Vidalou: Être Forêts

Jean-Baptiste Vidalou. Être Forêts. Habiter des Territoires en Lutte. Paris: La Découverte / ZONES, 2017. Territories in upheaval. Fighting territories. Resisting territories. The French expression en lutte can be translated into many nuances, and they all fit Jean-Baptiste Vidalou’s book Être Forêts, “to be forests”. While this title quite literally describes the main locus of interest,… Continue reading (Specters) Jean-Baptiste Vidalou: Être Forêts

Interlude

Music for living in #CyberneticRegimes. Here's an extract from what Holly Herndon told NPR about this track: Where did you get the idea for the song ["Home"]? The song evolved over time. It started out as a song about dropping the ball. It started with the exponential rhythmic pattern of the ball-dropping sample. And then, as… Continue reading Interlude

Automated Justice / Predictive Policing

(Continuation of "Nudged Citizen") In our cybernetic regimes, justice is being automated and policing is increasingly predictive. In the United States, computer programs now help decide whether you’ll get parole or pretrial release, how much your bail [i] and how long your prison sentence will be [ii]. While doing so, the inner workings of their algorithms remain largely… Continue reading Automated Justice / Predictive Policing

Nudged Citizen

(Continuation of “AAA Citizen”) The Chinese Social Credit system works in ways similar to (and inspired by) customer care programs such as special discounts for super markets client card holders or members of frequent flyer programs. As Netzpolitik.org points out, pilot schemes such as Alibaba’s sesame credit have their western pendants. Facebook, for example, filed a… Continue reading Nudged Citizen

AAA Citizen: The Chinese Social Credit System

There you are, checking your social credit score again. You want to get promoted in your job now and married in autumn, so going AAA is crucial, as employers are sure to require a certificate and parents are taking up the habit too. You used to have to go to the local Social Credit Management… Continue reading AAA Citizen: The Chinese Social Credit System