CYBERSYN—Chile and The Socialist Internet (reblogged from Progressive Geographies)

I first came a across Cybersyn some years back. A radical attempt by Allende and the socialist government to build an economic exchange centre to pair demands and production across a country. The wikipedia entry was pretty good then, and it still gives a good introduction. Now Stuard Elden is reporting on his Progressive Geographies blog that the organization Spring—"a shoe-string, non-profit operation put together by full-time cafe and restaurant workers in Manchester"—are hosting a talk on this experiment. 

Wikipedia introduces Cybersyn like this: "The principal architect of the system was British operations research scientist Stafford Beer, and the system embodied his notions of organisational cybernetics in industrial management. One of its main objectives was to devolve decision-making power within industrial enterprises to their workforce in order to develop self-regulation of factories."

There is also a book length treatise of Cybersyn called "Cybernetic Revolutionaries : Technology and Politics in Allende’s Chile" by Eden Medina from MIT Press, 2011. See introduction below. Here is Stuard Elden's post: 

Chile & the Socialist Internet – Cybersyn a radical experiment in grass-roots networking

Details of events in Manchester and London – as part of the Spring project.

The Socialist President Salvadore Allende was elected to power in Chile in 1970, and embarked upon a series of radical reforms to Chilean society and the economy. As an alternative to a Soviet style ‘centrally planned’ economy, Allende’s government instead looked for another route through which to replace the market.

At the heart of this strategy was Project Cybersyn, a prototype internet system designed to link together the needs of the economy via ‘central nervous system’. A radical experiment in grass-roots networking, Cybersyn aimed to directly involve workers at all levels of production and distribution in the organic management of the economy.
Speaking at this event will be Nathan Coombs (Research Fellow at Edinburgh University) who will be speaking on the technological potentials of economic planning. Alongside him will be former Director of Project Cybersyn Raul Espejo, who will discuss his experiences with Cybersyn and the ‘Third Route’ to economic planning.
MANCHESTER: December 9th, 7pm, Instituto Cervantes, 326 Deansgate, M3 4FN, £4 entry (£3 concession)
LONDON: December 16th, 7pm, The Blue Posts, 28 Rupert St, W1D 6DJ, FREE ENTRY


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