13. Cybernetic Revolutionaries Pt.1 │Eden MedinaAuxiliary Statements13. Cybernetic Revolutionaries Pt.1 │Eden Medina by Auxiliary Statements
Cybernetic Revolutionaries: A Discussion
For this installment of our series on Actually Existing Socialism we take a look at an attempt to solve the issues of central planning with a novel experiment unlike any other in history: Project Cybersyn in Salvador Allende’s Chile. In a discussion based on Eden Medina’s book Cybernetic Revolutionaries, Donald, Christian, and Rudy discuss the idea of Stafford Beer and their limitations, the difficulties of the democratic road to socialism, and if Cybersyn is totalitarian but in a good way. Outro music is “Litany for a computer and a child about to be born” by Angel Parra and Stafford Beer.
Project Cybersyn Shows All Tech is Political w/ Eden Medina
May 20, 2021
May 14, 2022
Nicolas Villarreal joins Ash Milton to discuss his 05 article on how capitalist giants use socialist cybernetic planning, cybernetic methods of organizing supply chains, and their impact on the worker.
Socialist Chile centrally planned its economy using Project Cybersyn, which used computerized feedback loops to give production managers live updates on changes in demand and other production indicators. This helped solved the “bullwhip” problem, where producers belatedly learned of changes in demand that originate further down the supply chain.
Capitalist supergiants like Amazon and Walmart use similar systems to maintain efficiency. But ultimately the workers are made to work at the tempo of an automated feedback system that leads to injury and exhaustion. Nicolas and Ash also discuss how industrial rationalization and efficiency can lead to worker organization. Nicolas’s article “How Capitalist Giants Use Socialist Cybernetic Planning” is featured in PALLADIUM 05: Centralizing Society.
Nicolas Villarreal works as an analyst for a government contractor and formerly worked in federal banking regulation. He is a graduate of the College of William and Mary, and author of the novel Caeruleus. He tweets @NicolasDVillar1.