mercoledì 24 settembre 2014

Obsolete Capitalism: Heterarchical organisation (Pt. XXIV - The Birth of Digital Populism)

Heterarchical organisation (Pt. XXIV)

La Rete, which means the network, cannot have a hierarchical structure, not even when it is considered as social network. The network is horizontal; it has no reason to exist outside its nodes and horizontal connections; it can’t be a top-down model. Digital populism rejects the rigid traditional Fordist-Taylorist party organisation, to substitute it with a form of disorder, which is, nevertheless, under control; this system is effective when faced with the non-predictability of complex systems. 5SM requires an experimental model, an organisational prototype that encompasses the horizontal nature of social networks, as well as its discreet remote address. Besides the influences from Google, Casaleggio advances the hypotheses of ‘heterarchy’ and autopoiesis for this new model. It is a difficult challenge: even dot-com and 2.0 companies have traditional hierarchical business structures. A real network - one that is composed of real people rather than of bots and trolls - is a vital and spontaneous ecosystem made of interconnections and diverse elements. How can one rule over this ecosystem without a firm leadership, without that heroic approach that is shared by both analogue populism and traditional twentieth-century parties? The answer must lie in a heterarchical organisation. As it is widely known, ‘heterarchy’ means neither hierarchy nor anarchy. It suggests a subtle, almost covert leadership position, as obscure as the traditional hidden agenda of the Internet is. Heterarchy is polycentric; it multiplies the power nodes, so that they don’t become subordinate to the top. For example, within the Movement, the continuous frictions between parliamentary groups and Casaleggio Associati’s smart-marketing team, the communication between MPs and Beppe Grillo's bloggers and between Meetup and elected representatives, all exemplify autonomous power nodes in conflict with each other. The movement has a multifaceted nature: it is made of partial achievements of single sections, individual decision, attempts at autonomy, evasive attitudes, calls to order and expulsions. The political power of a single MP or militant is heavily constrained by the unpredictable policy pursued by Casaleggio Associati. The Movement’s experimental heterarchical model is now being tested and adjusted to the real world: since 2013, each of the 5SM’S political actions showed that t a deep gap existed between a real heterarchical concept and a false heterarchical practice: the latter is what the two 5SM’s leaders have been putting into action. ‘Each one is worth one’ was the slogan coined for the five-starred mass; it glorifies the egalitarian decision-making power of the individual, yet it is contradicted by the evident authoritarian approach of the duo Grillo–Casaleggio. (...)

Painting: Stelios Faitakis

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