[Air-L] Call: Digital Socialism/Communicative Socialism, edited by Christian Fuchs, Special Issue of the Journal Communication, Capitalism & Critique

Christian Fuchs 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



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 
following questions:

* Theory:
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?

* Dialectic:
What are the contradictions of digital capitalism? How does 
digital/communicative socialism differ from and contradict 
digital/communicative capitalism?

* History:
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?

* Internationalism:
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 
digital socialism?

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 
31, 2019.
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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