Digital Syndicalism

I just got back from Mexico City and the III Encuentro Internacionale, “La Economia de los Trabajadores,” hosted by Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana-Xochimilco (and others).  In addition to bumping into old comrades like Peter Ranis, Manny Ness (whose new book is out now!), and Cliff DuRand, I got to know a whole new crew of  companeros – –  from Mexico, Argentina, Australia, and the States (including some fellow Oakland residents – – saludos a Dave y “el enemigo de Beowulf”!).

the companeros get down!

The Encuentro was a fantastic three days of talk, questions, and discussions focused on “autogestion” or workers’ self-management.  I learned a lot.  Special thanks to the folks from UAM-Xochimilco who were extraordinary hosts and incredibly industrious and gracious.

Mexico City is an incredible place, and I urge you to ignore warnings about crime, smog, etc. and visit the Distrito Federal soon!

In my own contribution to the Encuentro, I tried to outline, briefly, the connections between “sociomedia” and some themes of anarcho-syndicalism (decentralization, anti-expertise, creativity, and counter-culture).  This was really a snapshot and rough draft of my thinking about the politics of digital humanities – – or, given the current paucity of talk around the “politics” of digital humanities, a start to thinking about how digital humanities might challenge institutions and the university’s business-as-usual.  (I try to work out another piece of this puzzle in my recent Radical Teacher piece.)

I’ve published the google doc version of my talk to the web.  And, you can find a Commentpress version here.

Finally, although the discourse at the Encuentro was firmly anchored in politics, economics, and sociology, I’m convinced that autogestion is also fundamentally a cultural question.  My comrade, Salvatore Salerno’s work on the Wobblies is especially important here.  And, some serious thinking about the cultural dimensions of autogestion – – as well as thinking culture through autogestion – – is definitely on my agenda . . .

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