Governable Stacks against Digital Colonialism

Nathan Schneider

was once Vanguard Stacks: Self-Governing against Digital Colonialism

1. Summary

The anticolonial tradition suggests that resistance to digital colonialism will depend on sustaining resistance in everyday life. I have proposed governable stacks as a strategy for doing this.

2. Some side claims included

3. Notes

Although acts of insurrection may attract more attention, one thing leaders and theorists of anticolonial resistance have stressed is the centrality of self-governance in everyday life as both a means and end of their movements.

power and resistance seem to emanate from self-organizing and the media that enable it. What are the comparable media of sovereignty today?

Theorist-practitioners of anticolonial resistance have frequently stressed the centrality of self-governance in everyday life as both the means and end of their movements, alongside acts of outright insurrection.

the platforms most available for online organizing are not well-suited for self-governing;

Page 6 [2021-04-18 Sun 07:27]: Campaigns of digital resistance often employ the same colonial firms they oppose.

Page 7 [2021-04-18 Sun 07:28]: “allocation of coordination rights.”

● same aŝ auʈority in networks?

Page 7 [2021-04-18 Sun 07:35]: Individual users might have options on a platform to access or delete their own personal data, yet platform companies alone can develop products from the users’ data in aggregate

● imagine if your platfrm built a digital garden for you wth all the inghts the bjg tech platfrms knkw about ou Individual users might have options on a platform to access or delete their own personal data, yet platform companies alone can develop products from the users’ data in aggregate

Page 9 [2021-04-18 Sun 07:38]: What would a liberatory, networked, and democratic vanguard look like?

Page 10 [2021-04-18 Sun 07:40]: lumpenproletariat , “the most spontaneous and the most radically revolutionary forces of a colonized people”

Page 11 [2021-04-18 Sun 07:41]: decision without institution.

Page 11 [2021-04-18 Sun 07:42]: age of networks has only deepened the allure of spontaneity among radical theorists,

● arguing that networked spontaneity alone is not the answer i think. Nathan has background in occupy where lack of organisation was a problem long-term.

Page 12 [2021-04-18 Sun 07:43]: adrienne maree brown (2017) presents spontaneous self-organization in nature as a theory of social change.

Page 12 [2021-04-18 Sun 07:46]: Where there is spontaneity among the masses, it obtains power only through an organized and disciplined vanguard party, such as the one he would lead in Russia.

Page 12 [2021-04-18 Sun 07:47]: Rosa Luxemburg (1904) recoiled at the rigidity of Lenin’s vanguard, one molded by the discipline of the factory, army, and bureaucracy. Yet a communist regime came to pass in Germany

Page 13 [2021-04-18 Sun 07:48]: Her longing persists: a vanguard firm enough to gain power yet supple enough to wield it humanely.

Page 13 [2021-04-18 Sun 07:52]: He celebrated the Paris Commune as a forerunner of the Russian soviets, regarding that uprising as “first and foremost a democracy”

Page 14 [2021-04-18 Sun 07:55]: dialectical humanism,”

Page 15 [2021-04-18 Sun 07:59]: turned from achieving state communism to commoning, so that through stewarding shared projects and resources, people can continually rediscover what they are seeking to achieve.

Page 16 [2021-04-18 Sun 08:00]: brown’s “emergent strategy” for activists revels not in conflict with corporate oppo-nents but in apparitions of friendship in online threads and tips for weaving consensus process.

Page 17 [2021-04-18 Sun 08:05]: the learning and planning that takes place among groups of people in spaces ungovernable to reigning institutions. Like the maroons of Saint-Domingue or the American South, study involves an order of its own, apart from the colonial university, a practice of impenetrable self-rule.

Page 18 [2021-04-18 Sun 08:07]: how tribal nations can produce sovereignty through “community-scale activities” such as cooperatives and assemblies in everyday life

Page 18 [2021-04-18 Sun 08:08]: the rejection of governance shape-shifts into a call for its reconstruction.

Page 21 [2021-04-18 Sun 08:14]: And yet these legacies also assert another kind of self-governing, the kind that is ungovernable and opaque and maroon from the vantage of the imperial capitals—a site of study and planning, conversation and connection.

Page 21 [2021-04-18 Sun 08:20]: The species of spontaneity most at home in the digital economy is “virality, ” the explosive spreading and equally rapid subsiding of online content.

Page 22 [2021-04-18 Sun 08:21]: On colonial platforms, too, users direct their energy for and against each other, gaining influence and affirmation through their jousts and, in doing, identifying themselves ever more deeply with the non-transferable reputation they obtain on the platforms.

Page 23 [2021-04-18 Sun 08:23]: Platforms optimize for chatter as “engagement,” not decision, resolution, or consensus. Community control is not in the spec.

Page 24 [2021-04-18 Sun 08:25]: the classic satire of mechanized capitalism, Modern Times

Page 24 [2021-04-18 Sun 08:26]: vanguard stacks”: an orientation toward ungovernable organizing under digital colonialism.

Page 26 [2021-04-18 Sun 08:29]: In the sense of Grace Lee and Jimmy Boggs’s dialectical humanism, vanguard stacks invite the people who use them to change their relationship with technologies, and to imagine different sorts of technologies, and to become changed themselves.

Page 26 [2021-04-18 Sun 08:30]: Vanguard stacks already lurk in the archaeology of colonial systems through legacies like Indymedia, an activist social network whose participatory servers and software prefigured the corporate “Web 2.0”

Page 28 [2021-04-18 Sun 08:33]: Vanguard stacks do not seek merely to improve the occupier. “Decolonization is not an ‘and,’ ” as Tuck and Yang (2012) put it. “It is an elsewhere.” I take inspiration

Page 30 [2021-04-18 Sun 08:35]: The lifeblood of the vanguard stack is not its tools but the self-governance surrounding them. Communities, families, and movements can assemble and adjust their stacks over time, wherever possible seeking to make their technological lives ever more vanguardist.

Page 33 [2021-04-18 Sun 08:38]: 2018).Amelia (2020) draws on the Haudenosaunee practice of wampum agreements to propose “ethical dependencies” in software, which would encode and enforce certain commitments up and down the stack.

Page 37 [2021-04-18 Sun 10:46]: What makes technology sovereign is when its stewards are the people who depend on it, protected from outside control by any legal or extra-legal means available.

Page 37 [2021-04-18 Sun 10:46]: The data, the algorithms, and the interfaces are for their users, rather than acting surreptitiously against them.

Page 37 [2021-04-18 Sun 10:46]: The other side of sovereignty is democracy —its guarantor and its everyday practice.

Page 38 [2021-04-18 Sun 10:48]: Mastodon and its ilk have shown that coun-tering hate speech doesn’t require the might of a global monopoly; it can be participatory and empowering.

Page 40 [2021-04-18 Sun 10:49]: economic disobedience” (, which includes refusing payment of unjust taxes or interest. Insurgents might choose not to submit the data

Page 40 [2021-04-18 Sun 10:49]: Insurgents might use colonial platforms for education and organizing, but if they have vanguard stacks they can go back to, they are more than just viral subjects—they are maroons, with swamps and forests of their own.

Page 40 [2021-04-18 Sun 10:50]: Goldman Sachs doesn’t care if you’re raising chickens,” the political theorist Jodi Dean (2011) has said. It’

Goldman Sachs doesn't care if you raise chickens

Page 41 [2021-04-18 Sun 10:51]: what we practice at the smal l scale sets the patterns for the whole system.”

Page 41 [2021-04-18 Sun 10:51]: As above, so below.” Dean doesn’t want such faith to distract her comrades from organizing for secular power.

Page 42 [2021-04-18 Sun 10:52]: They normalize among vanguards the otherwise elusive fact that better ways of organizing technology are possible— because we already do it ourselves.

Page 43 [2021-04-18 Sun 10:53]: Will vanguard stacks become the specialty of reactionaries? The stack has already become a field of conflict. Failing to claim the vanguard position for liberation means ceding it for other purposes. There is

Tiziana Terranova (2014), who has pro- posed the complementary idea of a “red stack”, writes that insurgent stacks become “new platforms through a crafty bricolage of existing technologies, the enactment of new subjectivities through a detournement of widespread social media literacy”

there must some linkage, some strategy, that connects self-governance from the scale of small communities to the larger societies those com munity seek to transform

^ I believe this linkage across scales exists in the Viable System Model, Institutional Analysis and Development.

4. Handwritten notes


5. Elsewhere

5.3. Mentions

This page last updated: 2023-03-17 Fri 16:15. Map. Recent changes. Source. Peer Production License.