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

By Todd Wolfson

Digital Rebellion examines the effect of recent media and communique applied sciences at the spatial, strategic, and organizational cloth of social movements.

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

Melding digital and conventional ethnographic perform to discover the Cyber Left’s cultural good judgment, Wolfson maps the social, spatial and communicative constitution of the Indymedia community and information its operations at the neighborhood, nationwide and international point. He seems on the participatory democracy that governs international social hobbies 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 around the globe. As he indicates, realizing the intersection of Indymedia and the worldwide Social Justice move illuminates their foundational function 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) convey Against the Grain

“The first e-book to chart the highbrow and technological historical past of the Indymedia community and to put that historical past in the theoretical debate approximately social stream association and politics. this can be a tremendous bankruptcy in modern social circulate activism and Todd Wolfson does a very good task charting the increase of the self sustaining 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 student, Wolfson splendidly information the emergence of the Cyber Left. In Digital Rebellion he not just celebrates its political strength but in addition, and extra importantly, offers a lucid critique of the types it has taken therefore far.” —Michael Hardt, co-author of Declaration and Empire

“Makes an unique contribution throughout the intensity of the empirical case experiences of Cyber Left association. . . . i will not contemplate one other publication that places a lot of the tale of the U.S. left’s experiments with the construction of an ‘electronic cloth of struggle’ inside of 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 resources for Digital Rebellion: The Birth of the Cyber Left (The History of Communication)

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In France, however, each class is idealistic and believes itself to be a general representative of society and thus fights not for itself, but for complete emancipation. Like the social classes of France, the EZLN is politically idealistic and therefore aimed to become a voice for all deprived people of Mexico, not only for Mayan peasants. From the first communiqué and throughout the EZLN conflict, the Zapatistas characterized the dispute with the Mexican government as a fight for universal emancipation.

The new digital technologies facilitated a distinctive organizational network structure. As Harry Cleaver (1995) puts it, “[T]he process of alliance building has created a new organizational form—a multiplicity of rhizomatically connected autonomous groups—that is connecting all kinds of struggles throughout North America that have previously been disconnected and separate” (para. 7). Multiple autonomous organizations were linked together through a loosely shared commitment to the EZLN, the transmission of massive amounts of information, and the development of tools for online dialogue.

However, in the early stages of the insurrection, the Zapatistas realized that the superior force of the Mexican army overmatched them. Additionally, they had not successfully called the poor of the country into an armed uprising. This left the EZLN in a vulnerable situation, as the Mexican army had the military power to violently repress the Zapatista army. In this moment of crisis, the Zapatistas and their sympathizers turned to new media and the support of transnational activist networks to “get the word out,” utilizing listservs and networks to rally support for their situa- chap ter 1.

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