Digital Rebellion: The Birth of the Cyber Left (The History by Todd Wolfson

By Todd Wolfson

Digital Rebellion examines the influence of recent media and verbal exchange applied sciences at the spatial, strategic, and organizational cloth of social movements.

Todd Wolfson finds how points of the mid-1990s Zapatistas movement—network organizational constitution, participatory democratic governance, and using verbal exchange instruments as a binding agent—became crucial components of Indymedia and different Cyber Left organisations. From there he makes use of oral interviews and different wealthy ethnographic info to chart the media-based imagine tanks and experiments that persevered the Cyber Left’s evolution throughout the autonomous Media Center’s beginning round the 1999 WTO protests in Seattle.

Melding digital and standard ethnographic perform to discover the Cyber Left’s cultural common sense, Wolfson maps the social, spatial and communicative constitution of the Indymedia community and info its operations at the neighborhood, nationwide and worldwide point. He seems on the participatory democracy that governs international social activities and the methods democracy and decentralization have come into pressure, and the way “the switchboard of struggle” conducts tales from the hyper-local and disperses them all over the world. As he indicates, realizing the intersection of Indymedia and the worldwide Social Justice circulation illuminates their foundational position within the Occupy fight and different emergent events that experience re-energized radical politics.

Listen to Wolfson talk about Digital Rebellion at the KPFA (Berkeley, CA) express Against the Grain

“The first booklet to chart the highbrow and technological heritage of the Indymedia community and to put that heritage in the theoretical debate approximately social circulation association and politics. this can be an immense bankruptcy in modern social move activism and Todd Wolfson does a superb activity charting the increase of the self sufficient Media middle and the theoretical implications of this version for left political organizing.” —Andy Opel, co-author of Preempting Dissent: The Politics of an Inevitable Future

“Combining the fervour of an activist and the reasoned arguments of a pupil, Wolfson splendidly information the emergence of the Cyber Left. In Digital Rebellion he not just celebrates its political power but additionally, and extra importantly, offers a lucid critique of the kinds it has taken hence far.” —Michael Hardt, co-author of Declaration and Empire

“Makes an unique contribution throughout the intensity of the empirical case reviews of Cyber Left association. . . . i can't examine one other booklet that places lots of the tale of the U.S. left’s experiments with the production of an ‘electronic cloth of struggle’ inside a unmarried quantity. . . . The author’s wisdom, thoughtfulness, and political ardour is evident.” —Nick Dyer-Witheford, co-author of Games of Empire: international Capitalism and Video Games

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Extra info for Digital Rebellion: The Birth of the Cyber Left (The History of Communication)

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The EZLN strategy was to fight the “War of the Flea,”2 which combines centralized strategic control with decentralized tactical operations, allowing for a flexible, mobile guerilla war modeled on Mao Zedong’s successful military operations in China. On the way to Mexico City and the seat of state power, the Zapatistas faced the harsh realities of combat with the well-funded, powerful Mexican army. The initial conflict between the Mexican army and the Zapatistas lasted ten days and cost hundreds of lives while displacing thousands of indigenous people throughout the southernmost state of Mexico.

Similarly, a characteristically lyrical EZLN communiqué noted, “in order for them to see us, we covered our faces” (Marcos 2001, 115). The mediated nature of the conflict in Chiapas, and in particular the multivalent, innovative approach of the EZLN, led the Mayan movement to gain a great deal of notoriety and scrutiny. In the years to follow, scholars and commentators endeavored to pin down the EZLN and this unfamiliar style of resistance. Consider some of the colorful descriptions that emerged: The EZLN is the first “postmodern revolutionary movement” (Burbach 2001, 116), the world’s “first informational guerrilla movement” (Castells 1996, 79), the first “successful netwar” (Ronfeldt and Arquilla 1998, 1), the “hinge between the old guerilla model and the new model of biopolitical network structures” (Hardt and Negri 2004, 85), and the exemplification of a “new electronic fabric of struggle” (Cleaver 1998b, 81).

There are five caracoles across the state of Chiapas. As autonomous zones outside the Mexican governance structure, they house, educate, and care for all members of the movement within these communities. The caracoles are networked together into one larger body, which is elected and acts as the EZLN leadership or the Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee-General Command. Latin-American) (Cleaver 1998a; Martin-Torres 2001). The new digital technologies facilitated a distinctive organizational network structure.

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