[Air-L] Call: Digital Socialism/Communicative Socialism, edited by Christian Fuchs, Special Issue of the Journal Communication, Capitalism & Critique
christian.fuchs at uti.at
Wed Jul 10 02:49:45 PDT 2019
Call: Digital Socialism/Communicative Socialism, edited by Christian
Fuchs, Special Issue of the Journal Communication, Capitalism & Critique
ABSTRACT SUBMISSION DEADLINE: MON, JULY 15
The special issue “Digital/Communicative Socialism” asks:What is
digital/communicative socialism? The special issue will publish
peer-reviewed contributions that explore perspectives on
digital/communicative socialism in respect to theory, dialectics,
history, internationalism, praxis, and class struggles.
Marx and Engels saw socialism as the movement for a society that is
based on the principles of equality, justice, and solidarity. They
distinguish different types of socialism, of which communism is one,
whereas reactionary socialism, bourgeois socialism, and critical-utopian
socialism are others. Rosa Luxemburg summarises the history of socialism:
“Socialism goes back for thousands of years, as the ideal of a social
order based on equality and the brotherhood of man, the ideal of a
communistic society. With the first apostles of Christianity, various
religious sects of the Middle Ages, and in the German peasants’ war, the
socialist idea always glistened as the most radical expression of rage
against the existing society. […] It was in the late eighteenth and
early nineteenth century that the socialist idea first appeared with
vigor and force […] the socialist idea was placed on a completelynew
footing by Marx and Engels. These two sought the basis for socialism not
in moral repugnance towards the existing social order nor in cooking up
all kinds of possible attractive and seductive projects, designed to
smuggle in social equality within the present state. They turned to the
investigation of the economic relationships of present-day society”.
Marx and Engels argue that socialism is grounded in the antagonistic
class structure of capitalism that pits workers against capitalists. In
the 19th century, the socialist movement experienced a split between
reformist revisionists and revolutionary socialists. After the First
World War, the Communist International and the Labour and Socialist
International were created. After the collapse of the Second
International, there was an institutional distinction between Socialists
and Communists. Whereas reformism dominated the Socialist International,
Stalinism became dominant in the Communist International. The notion of
“socialism” became associated with social democratic parties and the
notion of “communism” with communist parties. From a historical point of
view, both Stalinism and revisionist social democracy have failed.
With the rise of neoliberalism, social democracy turned towards the
right and increasingly adopted neoliberal policies. When Tony Blair
became British Prime Minster in 1997, his neoliberal version of social
democracy influenced social democracy around the world. The crisis of
capitalism and the emergence of new versions of socialist politics
(Bernie Sanders, Jeremy Corbyn, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Podemos,
Syriza, etc.) has reinvigorated the debate about socialism today.
tripleC’s special issue explores perspectives on the digital and
communicative dimensions of socialism today.
In the intellectual realm, the socialist debate has e.g. resulted in the
vision of the renewal of a class-struggle social democracy (by
Jacobin-editor Bhaskar Sunkara in the book The Socialist Manifesto: The
Case for Radical Politics in An Era of Extreme Inequality) or the vision
of fully-automated luxury communism (formulated by Novara Media’sAaron
Bastani in the book Fully Automated Luxury Communism). Such
contributions show that for a renewal of socialism, we need intellectual
and theoretical foundations that inform class struggles in
digital/communicative capitalism. There were earlier contributions to
the discussion of computing and socialism, such as André Gorz’s notion
of post-industrial socialism, Radovan Richta’s work on the role of the
scientific and technological revolution for democratic communism,
Autonomist Marxism’s readings of Marx’s “Fragmentof Machines”, Fernando
Flores’ and Stafford Beer’s roles in Chile’s Project Cybersyn during the
Allende presidency, Norbert Wiener’s and Joseph Weizenbaum’s reflections
on a humanistic instead of an imperialistic and instrumental use of
cybernetics and computing, etc.
The special issue seeks contributions that address one or more of the
What is socialism today? What are the communicative and digital
dimensions of socialism today? What is communicative/digital socialism?
What theoretical approaches and concepts are best-suited for
understanding digital/communicative socialism today? Does it or does it
not make sense to distinguish between digital/communicative socialism
and digital/communicative communism? Why or why not?
What are the contradictions of digital capitalism? How does
digital/communicative socialism differ from and contradict
What lessons can we draw from the history of socialism, communism,
social democracy and Marxist theory for the conceptualisation and praxis
of digital/communicative socialism today?
Socialism is a universalist and internationalist movement. What are the
international(ist), global dimensions of digital/communicative socialism
* Praxis and class struggles:
What strategies, demands and struggles are important for
digital/communicative socialism? How can socialism today best be
communicated in public? What class struggles are there in the context of
communication and computing? What are the roles of communication and
digital technologies in contemporary class struggles for socialism? What
is the role of social movements, the party and trade unions in the
organisation and self-organisation of digital and communication workers’
class struggles for socialism? How should socialist class politics,
unions and strikes look like today so that they adequately reflect
changes of the working class and exploitation in the age of digital
capitalism? What is a digital strike and what are its potentials for
All papers should explicitly address socialism.
Abstracts can be submitted per e-mail to christian.fuchs at triple-c.at,
using the form published at
Please do not make submissions that omit a completed form.
Submission deadline is Monday, July 15, 2019.
Feedback on acceptance/rejection will be provided at latest until July
The deadline for the submission of accepted papers is October 13, 2019.
The maximum length of full papers is 8,000 words. Articles should in the
first stage of submission (October 13) not be longer than 7,000 words so
that there is space for additions as part of the revision process.
All articles will be peer-reviewed and published in a special issue of
The special issue will be published open access. There are no APCs.
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