So rather than asking “What happened to Occupy?” or “What happened to 15-M?” as though they were discrete entities with a beginning and an end, it makes more sense to think of the whole trajectory of movements including the Arab Spring, M15 and Syntagma, Madison, Occupy, Quebec, the N14 General Strike, and so on, as one loose global network of associated networked movements. This loose, networked movement is always throwing up new avatars, with new names, which appear to decline after a while. But when something new arises — and it always does, whether in the same country or halfway around the world — it’s built on the same infrastructure and foundations, and the same social capital, as its predecessors.

Techno-Utopianism, Counterfeit and Real by Kevin Carson. Read the full series here or scroll down for the PDF.

Dyer-Witheford goes on to survey the approaches to cybernetic technology on the part of assorted Marxisms — or at least schools of left-wing or socialistic analysis — of the 20th century.The “scientific socialists” or neo-orthodox Marxists celebrate the liberatory potential of technology, and its role in both making capitalism unsustainable and providing the building blocks of a post-capitalist society of abundance. Their failing, as he sees it, is a tendency towards technological determinism which reduces the agency of the working class — its central role in self-liberation — to almost nothing. Rather an almost inevitable transition is driven by the forces of production or social relations of production. [24]

The second strand of Marxist thought on high technology is the pessimists or neo-Luddites, who emphasize the nature of technology as a totalizing system of control. They include theorists of work-discipline like Braverman and Marglin, and David Noble’s work on deskilling through automated CNC machine tools. [25] Similarly cultural theorists like Marcuse and media analysts Herbert Schiller view the corporate control of communications as a totalitarian force that closes off possibilities of critique. [26]

The ruling class, by definition, always selects among the variety of technological alternatives for one that best serves its interest; it follows that the ruling classes’ need for control is built into whatever technology is in use and there is exploitative by its very nature. [27]

This approach is useful, Dyer-Witheford argues, because it sees through the liberal capitalist techno-utopian project’s treatment of technology as class-neutral and positive-sum, and points to the very real class agenda embodied in that project. [28]

But its shortcomings are far more significant. It makes the mistake of equating “capitalism’s intentions and its capacities,” and “ignores the consequences of [workers’] counter-strategies and resistances.” In particular, it neglects “the possibility — particularly apparent in the field of media and communications technologies — that capital’s laboring subjects may find real use-values, perhaps even subversive ones, for the new technologies.” [29]

These latter possibilities are heightened, I would add, by the radical cheapening and ephemerality of new production and communications technology, and the resulting collapse of entry barriers — at least those based on material conditions — for production directly undertaken and controlled by producers.

The strand on the Left which most resembles liberal capitalist “information society” theory — post-Fordism — may include Marxists but is not necessarily Marxist as such. It shares a blurry border area with liberal capitalist models. The post-Fordist ranks include Michael Piore and Charles Sabel, authors of The Second Industrial Divide. Their flavor, Dyer-Witheford notes, is more Proudhonian than Marxist: “fascinated by the prospects of escaping the alienation of modern capitalism by return to small-scale, cooperative, artisanal production” — a situation which will “allow the restoration to the workplace of the judgment, learning, and variety lost to Taylorism.” [30]

And the more optimistic post-Fordists share the negative qualities of liberal capitalist “information society” enthusiasts, downplaying the extent to which post-Fordist industrial organization and networked supply and distribution chains have been integrated into a corporate capitalist institutional framework and subjected to the logic of labor exploitation and neoliberal austerity. [31] Even post-Fordists from a Marxist background tend to downplay the significance of class conflict and the contradictions of late capitalism, instead framing the emergence of a post-capitalist society in largely peaceful and evolutionary terms. [32]

After surveying all these thought systems, Dyer-Witheford goes on to discuss his own preferred model for transition to a high-tech post-capitalist society: autonomist Marxism.

Autonomism stresses the working class’s role as creative subject of revolutionary struggle, actively laying the basis for a new society.

Far from being a passive object of capitalist designs, the worker is in fact the active subject of production, the wellspring of the skills, innovation, and cooperation on which capital depends. Capital attempts to incorporate labor as a object, a component in its cycle of value extraction, so much labor power. But this inclusion is always partial, never fully achieved. Laboring subjects resist capital’s reduction. Labor is for capital always a problematic “other” that must constantly be controlled and subdued, and that, as persistently, circumvents or challenges this command. [33]

Workers, autonomists argue, “are not just passive victims of technological change but active agents who persistently contest capital’s attempts at control.” One of the most important forms this contestation takes is workers use of “their ‘invention power’ — the creative capacity on which capital depends for its incessant innovation — in order to reappropriate technology.” [34]

Another theme of autonomism is the way in which workers’ own social relationships have become the main source of productive capital, as physical capital has declined in importance relative to human capital and production has taken on a networked, horizontal character. And at the same time, the boundaries between this increasingly social production process and the rest of life — the spheres of consumption, family life, lifelong learning and the reproduction of labor-power — are becoming more and more blurred.

The activities of people not just as workers but as students, consumers, shoppers and television viewers are now directly integrated into the production process. During the era of the mass worker, the consumption of commodities and the reproduction of labor had been organized as spheres of activity adjunct to, yet distinct from, production. Now these borders fray…. Work, school, and domesticity are re-formed into a single, integrated constellation. [35]

And the growing centrality of network communications and information to all forms of production, and the penetration of this networked culture into the entire cultural sphere, means that it becomes a familiar part of the worker’s life.

The “system of social machines” increasingly constitutes an everyday ambience of potentials to be tapped and explored. The elaboration and alteration of this habitat become so pervasively socialized that they can no longer be exclusively dictated by capital. [36]

When workers’ skills and social relationships become the main form of capital, the converse is that — in contrast to the days when “capital” was expensive, absentee-owned physical capital that workers were paid to come to a physical location and work — workers are in direct possession of a much larger share of the prerequisites of production.

In both these regards, Dyer-Witheford’s analysis is rooted in Antonio Negri’s Grundrisse-based approach to Marx, a treatment of class antagonism framed around the working class as revolutionary subject and constitutive element of communist society, and its historic role of abolishing “work” as a conceptual category as it now exists. The mainstream line of Marxist analysis by the Old Left saw Capital as the crowning achievement of Marx’s theoretical system, and after the publication of the Grundrisse tended to treat the former as having distilled everything of importance in the latter. Negri, on the other hand, sees Capital as only a partial completion of the larger project outlined in the Grundrisse. The chapter on labor in Volume One of Capital did not at all cover the ground envisioned by Marx in the projected book on wage labor; he dealt with it only in part, in “reduced and objective terms” in that chapter, whereas the analysis in the Grundrisse that was never incorporated into a separate volume on labor, was intended to link “Marx’s critique of the wage and his revolutionary definition of communism and communist subjectivity.” [37]

The objectivisation of categories in Capital blocks the action of revolutionary subjectivity. Is it not possible… that the Grundrisse, on the other hand, is a text supportive of revolutionary subjectivity? Is it not the case that it succeeds in rebuilding something that the Marxist tradition has all too often broken and split apart — ie the unity between the constitutive process and the strategic project of working-class subjectivity? [38]

…In the Grundrisse, labour appears as immediately abstract labour. … Labour becomes abstract inasmuch as it is immediately intelligible only in terms of the social relations of production. Thus labour can only be defined in terms of the relations of exchange and the capitalist structure of production. The only concept of labour that we find in Marx is that of wage labour, of labour that is socially necessary for the reproduction of capital. Work, as Marx describes it, is not something to be reformed, reinstated, liberated, or sublimated; it exists only as a concept and a reality to be abolished. [39]

4) The open-ended dynamism of Marx’s “system” is directed wholly towards identifying the relationship between crisis and the emergence of revolutionary subjectivity. … In this regard, the Grundrisse is perhaps the most important — maybe the only — Marxian text on the question of transition, and it is curious to note that among the thousand and one positions published on the question of transition, this fact goes completely unregarded.

5) Marx’s definition of communism in the Grundrisse… is an extremely radical definition. The fundamental element here is the nexus between communism and class composition. … The nexus between class composition and power, like that between class composition and transition, is articulated on the real material nature of forms of behaviour, of needs, of structure, and of self-valorisation. [40]

Translated into plain language, that means analysis of the working class in terms of “revolutionary subjectivity” and its role in the transition means looking at the actual working class as it exists right now, how it exercises agency through its actual practices, forms of organization and activity, and how those practices and organizational forms prefigure (or form the nucleus of) the future communist society it will create.

Getting back to Dyer-Witheford’s own analysis of revolutionary subjectivity, it follows from all this that the main form of revolution ceases to be seizing the factories, and instead becomes — to use the term of perhaps the most notable autonomists, Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri — “exodus.” It is feasible to undertake an ever larger share of production of life’s necessities in the social sphere, in self-provisioning in the informal economy, through commons-based peer production, or through cooperative labor by workers using affordable high-tech tools in their own homes and shops. And the social relationships which capital has enclosed as a source of profit are vulnerable to being repurposed in the form of counter-institutions. Because the “social factory” is immaterial and permeates every aspect of life, there is no need to physically seize it.

Likewise, as Dyer-Witheford paraphrases Negri, “the new communicative capacities and technological competencies manifesting in the contemporary work force…”

exist in “virtual” form among the contingent and unemployed labor force. They are not so much the products of a particular training or specific work environment but rather the premises and prerequisites of everyday life in a highly integrated technoscientific system permeated by machines and media. [41]

In Negri’s own words, “the raw material on which the very high level of productivity is based — the only raw material… which is suitable for an intellectual and inventive labour force — is science communication and the communication of knowledge.” To extract profit from the cooperative relationships between workers, capital “must… appropriate communication. It must expropriate the community and superimpose itself on the autonomous capability of manufacturing knowledge…”

The socialized worker’s labour is more productive than that of the mass worker. It is endowed with a very high level of productive potential because it is capable of setting in motion the productive potentiality of the whole of society. … At all levels and in all contexts, community has increasingly become the foundation of the productivity of labour…. Today capitalist expropriation no longer takes place through wages alone. Given the conditions we have described, expropriation no longer simply consists in the expropriation of the producer, but, in the most immediate sense, in the expropriation of the producers’ community. … Advanced capitalism directly expropriates labouring cooperation. Capital has penetrated the entire society by means of technological and political instruments… to anticipate, organize and subsume each of the forms of labouring cooperation which are established in society in order to generate a higher level of productivity. Capital has insinuated itself everywhere, and everywhere attempts to acquire the power to coordinate, commandeer and recuperate value. But the raw material on which the very high level of productivity of the socialized worker is based… is science, communication and the communication of knowledge. Capital must, therefore, appropriate communication. [42]

But in doing this, capital must diffuse the informational tools of production into workers’ hands. And the skills and social relationships capital profits off of become an inseparable part of the worker’s mind and personality. Unlike the case of the physical factory, where management could search workers’ lunchboxes for tools and parts on the way out the door, employers cannot force workers to upload their knowledge and skill, or their social relationships, to a company mainframe when they clock out.

By informating production, capital seems to augment its powers of control. But it simultaneously stimulates capacities that threaten to escape its command and overspill into rivulets irrelevant to, or even subversive of, profit. [43]

In many areas of production, the communication and information processing tools used in the workplace are becoming virtually indistinguishable from those used in the social sphere. Wikis and blogs, and social media like Twitter, developed primarily for use outside the workplace, have been seized on by champions of the “Wikified Firm” or “Enterprise 2.0” as tools for coordinating production within the workplace. At the same time, open-sourced desktop or browser-based utilities are frequently more productive and usable than the proprietary “productivity software” forced on workers in the workplace. As Tom Coates put it, “the gap between what can be accomplished at home and what can be accomplished in a work environment has narrowed dramatically over the last ten to fifteen years.” [44]

Since Marx’s day, his simple schema of the circuit of capital (production and circulation) has expanded to encompass virtually all of society, including both the reproduction of nature and the reproduction of labor-power — the “social factory.” [45] And, Dyer-Witheford notes, the map of the circuit of capital, in addition to being something capital seeks to control through automation and cybernetics, is also a map of capital’s vulnerabilities.

…[T]he cartography of capital’s circuit maps not just its strength but also its weaknesses. In plotting the nodes and links necessary to capital’s flow, it also charts the points where those continuities can be ruptured. At every moment we will see how people oppose capital’s technological discipline by refusal or reappropriation; how these struggles multiply throughout capital’s orbit; how conflicts at one point precipitate crises in another; and how activists are using the very machines with which capital integrates its operations to connect their diverse rebellions. In particular, …the development of new means of communication vital for the smooth flow of capital’s circuit — …especially computer networks — also creates the opportunity for otherwise isolated and dispersed points of insurgency to connect and combine with one another. The circuit of high-technology capital thus also provides the pathways for the circulation of struggles. [46]

…In virtual capitalism, the immediate point of production cannot be considered the “privileged” site of struggle. Rather, the whole of society becomes a wired workplace — but also a potential site for the interruption of capital’s integrated circuit. [47]

Dyer-Witheford wrote in the early days of a trend towards networked struggles and comprehensive campaigns (his most notable example was the Justice for Janitors campaign in Silicon Valley), based in the entire social factory rather than in a particular workplace. [48]

…workers’ organizations have entered into experimental coalitions with other social movements also in collision with corporate order, such as welfare, antipoverty, students, consumer, and environmental groups. The result has been new oppositional combinations. Thus striking telephone workers join seniors, minorities, and consumer groups to beat back rate hikes, or unionizing drives in the ghettos of the fast food and clothing industries intertwine with campaigns against racism and the persecution of immigrants. … [Such alliances] expand the boundaries of official “labor” politics, so that the agency of countermobilization against capital begins to become, not so much the trade union, defined as a purely workplace organization, but rather the “labor/community alliance,” with a broader, social sphere of demands and interests. [49]

Although it was written after the completion of Cyber Marx, the Empire trilogy, coauthored by Negri and Michael Hardt, was a masterpiece of the autonomist tradition. And in particular the concept of “Exodus,” developed in the last book of the trilogy (Commonwealth) was a direct outgrowth of the ideas in Negri’s earlier work as well as Dyer-Witheford’s.

…the trend toward the hegemony or prevalence of immaterial production in the processes of capitalist valorization. … Images, information, knowledge, affects, codes, and social relationships… are coming to outweigh material commodities or the material aspects of commodities in the capitalist valorization process. This means, of course, not that the production of material goods… is disappearing or even declining in quantity but rather that their value is increasingly dependent on and subordinated to immaterial factors and goods. … What is common to these different forms of labor… is best expressed by their biopolitical character. … Living beings as fixed capital are at the center of this transformation, and the production of forms of life is becoming the basis of added value. This is a process in which putting to work human faculties, competences, and knowledges — those acquired on the job but, more important, those accumulated outside work interacting with automated and computerized productive systems — is directly productive of value. One distinctive feature of the work of head and heart, then, is that paradoxically the object of production is really a subject, defined… by a social relationship or a form of life. [50]

Capitalist accumulation today is increasingly external to the production process, such that exploitation takes the form of expropriation of the common. [51]

To be sure Negri recently backtracked to some extent on his earlier focus on Exodus, based on what I consider a false lesson taken from the ostensible “failure” of horizontalist movements like M15, Syntagma and Occupy. In a 2015 interview he criticized the “exclusive horizontalism” of the 2011 movements, and suggested based on his assessment of those movements that a partial shift of focus towards seizing power was necessary.

…I must confess that I have developed a problem in recent years. If I am asked to assess the struggles of 2011, I can’t help but concentrate my critical remarks on the question of horizontality — or of exclusive horizontality, at least. I have to criticize it because I think that there is no project or political development capable of transforming horizontal spontaneity into an institutional reality. I think, instead, that this passage must be governed in some way or another. Governed from below, of course, on the basis of shared programs, but always bearing in mind the necessity of having, in this passage, an organized political force capable of constituting itself and of managing this transformation.

I think that the present state of the movement forces us to be self-critical about what happened in 2011, and I think this self-criticism must focus on the question of political organization. …

On this question of struggle at the institutional level and of political organization, I would like to conclude with two more general propositions. The first one is that after 2011 horizontality must be criticized and overcome, clearly and unambiguously — and not just in a Hegelian sense. Secondly, the situation is probably ripe enough to attempt once again that most political of passages: the seizure of power. We have understood the question of power for too long in an excessively negative manner. Now we can reinterpret the question of power in terms of multitudes, in terms of absolute democracy — that is to say, in terms of a democracy that goes beyond canonical institutional forms such as monarchy, aristocracy and “democracy.” I believe that today the problem of democracy is best formulated and addressed in terms of the multitude. [52]

…[C]lass struggle in the biopolitical context takes the form of exodus. By exodus here we mean… a process of subtraction from the relationship with capital by means of actualizing the potential autonomy of labor-power. Exodus is thus not a refusal of the productivity of biopolitical labor-power but rather a refusal of the increasingly restrictive fetters placed on its productive capacities by capital. It is an expression of the productive capacities that exceed the relationship with capital achieved by stepping through the opening in the social relation of capital and across the threshold. As a first approximation, then, think of this form of class struggle as a kind of maroonage. Like the slaves who collectively escape the chains of slavery to construct self-governing communities and quilombos, biopolitical labor-power subtracting from its relation to capital must discover and construct new social relationships, new forms of life that allow it to actualize its productive powers. But unlike that of the maroons, this exodus does not necessarily mean going elsewhere. We can pursue a line of flight while staying right here, by transforming the relations of production and mode of social organization under which we live. [53]

First, I think assessments that the wave of movements that began in 2011 somehow “failed” are fundamentally wrong-headed. The very choice of the word “failure” ignores the fact that networked struggles like Seattle, the Arab Spring and Occupy tend to reproduce themselves from one geographical location to another. Note that the following extended passage was written after the Seattle movement, but before the Arab Spring:

Traditionally… the geographical expansion of movements takes the form of an international cycle of struggles in which revolts spread from one local context to another like a contagious disease through the communication of common practices and desires. …

A new international cycle finally emerged around the issues of globalization in the late 1990s. The coming-out party of the new cycle of struggles were the protests at the WTO summit in Seattle in 1999…. Suddenly the riots against IMF austerity programs in one country, protests against a World Bank project in another, and demonstrations against NAFTA in a third were all revealed to be elements of a common cycle of struggles… We should emphasize, once again, that what the forces mobilized in this new global cycle have is not just a common enemy — whether it be called neoliberalism, U.S. hegemony, or global Empire — but also common practices, languages, conduct, habits, forms of life, and desires for a better future. The cycle, in other words, is not only reactive but also active and creative. …

The global mobilization of the common in this new cycle of struggle does not negate or even overshadow the local nature or singularity of each struggle. The communication with other struggles, in fact, reinforces the power and augments the wealth of each single one. Consider, for example, the revolt that broke out in Argentina on the nineteenth and twentieth of December 2001 in the midst of economic crisis and has continued in different forms, with successes and failures, ever since. …The response of the Argentine population was immediate and creative: industrial workers refused to let their factories close and took over managing the factories themselves, networks of neighborhood and city assemblies were formed to manage political debates and decisions, new forms of money were invented to allow for autonomous exchange, and the piqueteros, the movements of employed…, experimented with new forms of protest in their conflicts with police and other authorities. All of this is clearly specific to the national situation, but it is also… common to all those who suffer and struggle against the exploitation and hierarchy of the global system. The revolt of Argentina was born with the common heritage of the global cycle of struggle at its back. …

The global cycle of struggles develops in the form of distributed network. Each local struggle functions as a node that communicates with all the other nodes without any hub or center of intelligence. Each struggle remains singular and tied to its local conditions but at the same time is immersed in the common web. This form of organization is the most fully realized example we have of the multitude. [54]

Both David Graeber and Immanuel Wallerstein regard the various networked movements since the EZLN uprising in 1994 as a continuing “revolutionary cycle” or “Fourth World War.” — in Wallerstein’s opinion being “the beginning of the counteroffensive of the world left against the relatively short-lived successes of the world right between the 1970s and 1994….” [55]

So rather than asking “What happened to Occupy?” or “What happened to 15-M?” as though they were discrete entities with a beginning and an end, it makes more sense to think of the whole trajectory of movements including the Arab Spring, M15 and Syntagma, Madison, Occupy, Quebec, the N14 General Strike, and so on, as one loose global network of associated networked movements. This loose, networked movement is always throwing up new avatars, with new names, which appear to decline after a while. But when something new arises — and it always does, whether in the same country or halfway around the world — it’s built on the same infrastructure and foundations, and the same social capital, as its predecessors. And the process represents a spiral rather than a mere cycle, with each iteration transcending the previous one. Here’s how Nathan Schneider described the phenomenon in an interview:

What did Occupy Wall Street succeed at? What did it fail at?

It very powerfully succeeded at introducing activists from around the country to one another and turned a lot of people into activists that weren’t before. It produced a tremendous number of networks, both online and offline, which continue to mobilize people on a number of fronts, though few are still called Occupy. …

What innovation in this area do you think is in store for us in the future? What should we be getting excited about?

…This is a movement that has an endless number of clever ideas appearing all the time, but it’s never clear which ones are going to rise above the rest until it happens. The next big idea might very well not be called “Occupy”, which may be a good thing — but the chances are high that, even so, it will be the result of networks that were forged during the Occupy movement. [56]

John Holloway dismisses concerns about the institutional continuity or persistence of any particular movement.

Before we can break with capital altogether, you suggest we begin by ‘cracking’ it in different places and times. Yet these ‘cracks’, as you call them, seem to flourish particularly in times of crisis. We saw this in the popular uprising in Argentina in 2001-’02, as Marina Sitrin powerfully portrayed in her book Everyday Revolutions, and we’re seeing it in Southern Europe today. Do you think there is a way to perpetuate such cracks beyond these economic ‘hard times’? Or is this type of autonomous popular self-organization bound to be something that flourishes in times of crisis and then secedes back into this kind of Kirchnerismo-style state capitalist populism?

I don’t know, first I don’t think times necessarily get better and secondly I’m not sure that we should worry too much about perpetuation. If you look at Argentina, there was clearly a sense that things did get better. Like the economy, rates of profit recovered, in which a lot of the movements of 2001 and 2002 became sucked in into the state. But the problems have obviously reappeared somewhere else. If you look at Spain and Greece, firstly there are no short-term perspectives of things getting substantially better. Secondly, if they did get better, then the crisis would move on somewhere else. And the search for alternative ways of living moves on.

I think there is an accumulation of experience, and also an accumulation of growing awareness that spreads from one country to another, that capitalism just isn’t working and that it is in serious problems. I think that people in Greece look to Argentina and recognize the importance of the experiences of 10 years ago. And I think that people in Argentina — even if things have improved economically for them — look to Greece and see the instability of capitalism. The failure of capitalism is showing up again in another place. I think there is a growing sense throughout the world that capitalism isn’t working. There is a growing confidence perhaps that the cracks we create or the crazinesses we create may really be the basis for a new world and a new society, and may really be the only way forward.

What I don’t like about the idea of perpetuation is that it has to be a smooth upward progress. I don’t think it works like that. I think it’s more like a social flow of rebellion, something that moves throughout the world, with eruptions in one place and then in another place. But there are continuities below the discontinuities. We have to think in terms of disrupting bubbling movements rather than thinking that it all depends on whether we can perpetuate the movement in one place. If we think in terms of perpetuation in one place, I think at times it can lead us into either an institutionalization, which I think is not much help, or it can lead us into a sense of defeat, perhaps, which I don’t think is right. [57]

The most important thing to remember, as Graeber points out, is that “once people’s political horizons have been broadened, the change is permanent.

Hundreds of thousands of Americans (and not only Americans, of course, but Greeks, Spaniards, and Tunisians) now have direct experience of self-organization, collective action, and human solidarity. This makes it almost impossible to go back to one’s previous life and see things the same way. While the world’s financial and political elites skate blindly toward the next 2008-scale crisis, we’re continuing to carry out occupations of buildings, farms, foreclosed homes, and workplaces — temporary or permanent — organizing rent strikes, seminars, and debtors’ assemblies, and in doing so, laying the groundwork for a genuinely democratic culture, and introducing the skills, habits, and experience that would make an entirely new conception of politics come to life. [58]

But second, and at least as important, we have to ask ourselves what kind of “success” is likely to be achieved by leavening predominantly horizontal movements with a bit of verticalism in the form of electoral movements. Admittedly, the idea of supplementing horizontalist movements based on prefigurative politics and counter-institution building, with auxiliary political parties aimed at capturing the state and running political interference for the real effort of building the new society within the shell of the old, or perhaps helping the transition process along, sounds superficially plausible. The problem is that, in practice, such political parties wind up sucking the energy and life out of the counter-institution building effort in civil society, and diverting it instead into parliamentary politics. Or worse yet, when political parties formed out of horizontalist movements actually achieve state power, as with Syriza in Greece, they actually sabotage the efforts of those movements or give away their gains on the ground in order to cut a “realistic” deal with capitalist states. [59]

[Read the rest of Carson’s Study via PDF] Center for a Stateless Society Paper No. 20 (Spring 2016)

Download a PDF copy of Kevin Carson’s full C4SS Study: Center for a Stateless Society Paper No. 20 (Spring 2016)

Techno-Utopianism, Counterfeit and Real (With Special Regard to Paul Mason’s Post-Capitalism)

I. Capitalist Techno-Utopianism from Daniel Bell On
II. Categories of Leftist Techno-Utopianism
III. Other Non-Capitalist Techno-Utopianisms

IV. Analysis: Comparison of the Two Strands of Techno-Utopianism

Areas of commonality

V. Paul Mason
VI. Left-Wing Critiques of Mason

Stephanie McMillan
Kate Aronoff



24. Dyer-Witheford, pp. 43-47.
25. Ibid., pp. 48-49.
26. Ibid., p. 50.
27. Ibid., p. 52.
28. Ibid., p. 53.
29. Ibid., pp. 53-54.
30. Ibid., p. 56.
31. Ibid., pp. 57-59.
32. Ibid., p. 60.
33. Ibid., p. 65.
34. Ibid., pp. 70-71.
35. Ibid., pp. 80-81.
36. Ibid., p. 84.
37. Antonio Negri, “Marx Beyond Marx: Working Notes on the Grundrisse (1979),” in Antonio Negri, Revolution Retrieved: Writings on Marx, Keynes, Capitalist Crisis and New Social Subjects, 1967-1983. Volume 1 of the Red Notes Italian Archive. Introductory Notes by John Merrington (London: Red Notes, 1988), p. 166.
38. Ibid., pp. 162-163.
39. Ibid., p. 165.
40. Ibid., p. 166.
41. Dyer-Witheford p. 84.
42. Antonio Negri, “Expropriation in Mature Capitalism,” in The Politics of Subversion: A Manifesto for the Twenty-First Century. Translated by James Newell (Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 1989), pp. 115-116.
43. Dyer-Witheford, p. 85.
44. Tom Coates, “(Weblogs and) The Mass Amateurisation of (Nearly) Everything…”, September 3, 2003 <>
45. Dyer-Witheford, pp. 91-92.
46. Ibid., pp. 97-99.
47. Ibid., p. 129.
48. Ibid., p. 99.
49. Ibid.
50. Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt, Commonwealth (Cambridge: Belknap Press, 2009), pp. 132-133.
51. Ibid., p. 137.
52. “Toni Negri: from the refusal of labor to the seizure of power,” ROAR Magazine, January 18, 2015 <>.
53. Negri and Hardt, Commonwealth, pp. 152-153.
54. Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt, Multitude: War and Democracy in an Age of Empire (Penguin, 2004), pp. 213-217.
55. David Graeber, “Situating Occupy Lessons From the Revolutionary Past,” InterActivist Info Exchange, December 4, 2011 <>; Immanuel Wallerstein, “The Neo-Zapatistas: Twenty Years After,” Immanuel Wallerstein, May 1, 2014 <>.
56. Joel Dietz, ““Occupy Wall Street turned movements into international networks that didn’t exist before,” OuiShare, January 7, 2013 <>.
57. Jerome Roos, “Talking About a Revolution With John Holloway,” John Holloway, April 13, 2013 <>.
58. Graeber, The Democracy Project, xix-xx.

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