Castells on Anarchism and the internet

Anarchism’s great difficulty has always been reconciling personal and local autonomy with the complexities of daily life and production in an industrialized world on an interdependent planet. And here technology turns out to be anarchism’s ally more so than Marxism’s. Instead of large factories and gigantic bureaucracies (socialism’s material base), the economy increasingly operates through networks (the material foundation of organizational autonomy). And instead of the nation-state controlling territory, we have city-states managing the interchange between territories. All this is based on the Internet, mobile phones, satellites, and informational networks that allow local-global communication and transport at a planetary scale. This is not only my interpretation; it is also explicit in the discourse of the social movements, as Jeffrey Juris’s recent book on the topic splendidly documents. There too we see a call for the dissolution of the state and the construction of an autonomous social organization based on individuals and affinity groups, debating, voting and acting through an interactive network of communication. Is this utopia? No, it is ideology. Consider the distinction: utopia prefigures a desired world. Ideology configures practice. With utopia one dreams. With ideology one struggles. Anarchism is an ideology. And neo-anarchism is an instrument of struggle that appears commensurate with the needs of the twenty-first century social revolt.

from negations via Pat Kane