Towards an anarchist cybernetics: Stafford Beer, self-organisation and radical social movements
In this paper, I attempt to rehabilitate cybernetics, in some form, as a tradition that has the potential to enrich our understandings of radical or alternative forms of organisation. In doing so, I argue for an anarchist cybernetics: a reading of Stafford Beer’s organisational cybernetics that lends itself to forms of organisation that aim to limit if not completely reject centralised, top-down command and control in favour of participatory and democratic practices.
Impossible organisations: Anarchism and organisational praxis
Anarchist approaches to organisation, both in theory and practice, are relatively neglected in organisational scholarship, including within more radical work. In this paper I consider why this is and what might be gained from paying more attention to them. As far as more mainstream work is concerned, it is plausible that, as March (2007) and others argue, the location of organisation studies within business schools encourages a focus on the firm and management practitioners.
Improvisation as anarchist organization
A frequent lament among those on the left is that there is no political music anymore. Quite apart from the inaccurate nostalgism and narrow, mainstream bias of such a claim, the substance of this complaint is called into question by its focus on the lyrical content of music. According to this logic, a ‘political’ piece of music is one that explicitly engages with politics in its lyrics and which impacts on the political consciousness of the listening subject (given contemporary listening habits this is usually, though not always, an individual).
Anarchism and critical management studies: A reflection from an anarchist studies perspective
Riding the wave of nearly twenty years of global activism, anarchism has established a niche hold in a diverse range of research fields. It would be a wild exaggeration to say that anarchism research has entered the mainstream, but hardly an embellishment to argue that the possibilities of the anarchist turn have been recognised by significant groups of scholars. Richard J. White and Colin C.
The question of organization: A manifesto for alternatives
…anarchy is not the negation of organization but only of the governing function of the power of the State. (Dunois, 1907)
Anarchists are not against organization. The tired old joke needs to be treated as evidence that someone knows little about the ideas they so quickly dismiss. Indeed, we think that anarchist thought and practice is a crucial element in thinking about how progressive politics might be conducted.
‘Anarchy by the book? Forget about it!’: The role of collective memory in shaping workers’ relations to anarchism and work today
It is lunchtime on the second day of a summer university organised by a French popular education movement in the South of France. A self-managed workshop on action has just finished, and now participants have gathered to hear about the experience of two collectives: one opposed to shale gas exploitation and the other against the construction of a large tourism complex including extensive golf courses.
Anarchist economic practices in a ‘capitalist’ society: Some implications for organisation and the future of work
Political, economic and social institutions are crumbling; the social structure, having become uninhabitable, is hindering, even preventing the development of the seeds which are being propagated within its damaged walls and being brought forth around them.
The need for a new life becomes apparent. (Kropotkin, 2002b)
A critical appraisal of what could be an anarchist political economy
Conflated with anti-statism, anything goes, chaos, violence and terrorism, anarchism is probably one of the most misconstrued and demonized political ideologies of our times. Anarchist writings have long been the preserve of activist subcultures, while attracting only marginal attention in academic circles. The tide seems to have changed alongside the widespread disillusionment with the authoritarian neoliberal state and sweeping Orwellian surveillance apparatuses in the wake of the current crisis.
Abstract hacktivism as a model for postanarchist organizing
It has been claimed that historically, anarchism has adopted a ‘highly ambivalent’ relationship with technology, ‘oscillating between a bitter critique driven by the experiences of industrialism, and an almost naive optimism around scientific development’ (Gordon, 2008: 111-113).
Anarchism and business ethics: the social responsibility of the anarchist is to destroy business
Milton Friedman, the influential Chicago School scholar and Nobel prize winner, wrote ‘The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits’ (henceforth ‘The Social Responsibility’), an essay which has become a highly influential text within contemporary business ethics. Friedman’s work holds a ‘determinate position of prestige; organizing and mobilizing so many theoretical and practical conceptions of what might be the responsibilities of business’ (Jones, 2007: 512).