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What would happen with the internet in anarchism?

0 votes
As an anarchist and web developer, I have been thinking about the changes that would occur to the internet and to my job in an anarchistic society.

While there are many non-profits that would likely continue to need websites, the majority of people who hire me are businesses and I am unsure if there would be any use for an anarcho-syndicalist society to have the same degree of use for web developers. I guess I am curious if there would be the ability/drive for businesses to start which would actually need advertising via websites.

P.S. I apologize for my lack of knowledge about anarchism, I have recently been reading about it after finding many of it's ideas similar to my own.
asked May 5, 2012 by Ixil (120 points)
edited May 6, 2012 by Ixil
making the huge assumption that we would still have things like computers after such a dramatic change, i'd be interested to hear more thought on this. what is the internet good for? now it's good for selling, porn, info gathering, and quick communication, right? what of those do you think would still be relevant in an anarchist society? what kind of anarchist society are you envisioning?
saying that you've been reading about anarchy doesn't tell us much, since there are so many different anarchies to be reading about. which ideas are similar to yours?
I mean that I agree with the central ideas of anarchy, as I understand them (anti-hierarchy, anti-coercion, egalitarianism, etc.). I am not at a point where I can say with certainty which group of anarchy if any I would belong to (though I would say I don't currently agree with primitivism or the possibility of a capitalist society which follows the core tenets of anarchy).

I can't imagine a large-scale anarchist society thriving without an informed populace and I believe the internet is the best way to allow everyone access to information. In the past year I have watched course lectures from several schools made freely available - I think the courses and services offered that way now could be a seed to something much greater which could be the most efficient way yet to spread knowledge throughout the globe.

I also think that the ability to quickly communicate would be relevant. Wouldn't using the internet in some way help in creating discussions which everyone can take part in? Attendance not being dependent on a specific time one is available or location one might currently be at? A group such as a town or neighborhood would much more easily be able to all have a chance to be heard compared with having meetings of some kind which are held in a specific location for an hour compared with anywhere and have the specific discussion ongoing or last 24 hours etc.

Despite these uses and likely others I am personally unsure about using the internet concerning business. I can't see any reason a new idea could not lead to a new business being started - i will try to avoid the question of how exactly a business would be run (this is getting long enough), but if you believe it is necessary to consider the question then I would be happy to consider it with anyone - would that new business use the web in a way to provide information about their product or would you consider that a type of advertising and advertising a construct of capitalism that would not be needed? It is possible, of course, that someone reading this believes in an anarcho-capitalist society and I welcome your input.

what kind of anarchist society are you envisioning?
- I don't believe I am far enough in my exploration of anarchy or even that it is possible to completely envision what an anarchist society would end up as. I am open to anyone with any beliefs to tell me what they think would or might occur.

Sorry for the length :)
i try not to envision much, actually. i think that if anarchy were ever to be common, it would require a significant enough break that i probably couldn't really imagine it well. so i think about lots of different options, as much as i can.
the one that appeals to me the most is probably a big diversity of cultural styles, with smallish groups of people doing different things that wouldn't necessarily get along with each other well, but don't have to because people aren't trying to make global systems.
that said, i'm not sure how you are thinking of "businesses" in a world that doesn't have capitalism (which, if you've read the About Us for this site, you'll recognize is not anarchist, despite what some confused/manipulative people may claim). this site does not welcome the input of capitalists, regardless of any prefix they use - although their comments occasionally stay up, when relevant.
Yes I have read the About Us and a number of the questions and answers on the site since writing my comment.

I was thinking along the lines of a worker-owned collective. Most likely what I am thinking of is being affected by capitalist ideas.

My original question was not asked because of worry about my current job (which I doubt I will continue for more than a few years). Now I understand that to answer my question(s) I need to learn more about alternative systems than the little I understand. If you know of any really good books or articles about alternatives I would be happy to add them to my long list of things to read - if not, no worries, my list continues to grow on its own.

Thanks for your comments :)
i appreciate that you're interested in learning.
i wouldn't say that i'm that conversant with alternatives books, but Anarchy Works gets recommended here a lot, and bolo'bolo is one of my favorites (very different from each other; neither is necessarily exactly what you're looking for -- but Anarchy Works is a good beginner's book).
there are dramatically different trajectories you will learn about, depending on which start you get and what your interests are. if you are most interested in what is the minimum that has to change for what some people call anarchy, then parecon might be what you want to look into. if you are more imaginative, or are interested in (what i think are) the fundamental issues, then more philosophical readings, including some of the green anarchist stuff (fredy perlman, john moore, etc) could be more interesting to you.
many many options. :)

1 Answer

–2 votes
With the economy still in a recession, I wonder if there's a future for information technology, but IT is still changing society like the industrial revolution did. There is a constantly increasing amount of people who are always online with their mobile phones, so there may always be a need for web developers. With an abundance of anarchist web sites like this one, there may be plenty for someone like you to do now and in the future.
answered May 5, 2012 by frenzy (720 points)