Networked Dissent

Volume 47, Issue 5: September/October 2013

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In the months leading up to this issue we’ve seen an explosion of popular protest, from the streets of São Paulo to the occupation of Gezi Park in Istanbul.

As Nora Loreto writes, one of the key features of global protests today is the speed at which images are distributed and dispersed. Popular protest and the internet share a common thread of spontaneity, which holds both enormous potential and its own dangers. Memes and tweets themselves do not change society. Solidarity, the real flesh-and-bones stuff, as Max Haiven reminds us, is the original social media.

The first three articles focus on the internet and digital politics. Broadly speaking, they ask whether the internet has broadened or restricted democracy and how progressives might engage with online struggles in effective ways. Media scholar Robert McChesney calls for an analysis of the internet that takes into account the dynamics of actually existing capitalism. The internet, as he puts it, “is a testament to socialism,” and far too valuable a resource to be left to the likes of Microsoft and Google. Nora Loreto asks whether online platforms can reinvigorate the Left’s organizational capacity while Max Haiven takes us on a tour through the viral world of meme warfare.

The internet increasingly resembles the structure of modern capitalist society, where those with wealth and privilege have access to knowledge and the rest are trapped behind low bandwidths and paywalls. Struggles against commodification are crucial, on and offline. Dustin Ferretti profiles Chilean student struggles for free and high-quality education, and the common linkages between what has been described as the Chilean Winter and the Maple Spring. All successful protests have elements of good theatre. Sarah Keenan and Mel Evans describe the ways in which UK activists have used live streaming to protest the relationship between major art galleries and oil companies.

Table of Contents

The Regulars

  • The Missing Money
  • This Dimension
  • Closer to Home with Rascism
  • Around the Left in 60 Days
  • Pensions and the Detroit Bankruptcy
  • Weather Reports: Climate Evasion
  • Oil Mania and Government Complicity
  • The Extradition Case of Dr. Hassan Diab
  • The Life and Death of CIDA (1968–2013)

Networked Dissent

  • Dissent In the Digital Age
  • Capitalism, Democracy and the Digital Revolution
  • Can the Internet Save the Left?
  • Virality, Solidarity and Meme Warfare
  • Chileans for Free Education
  • “All Rise”: Art Activism Against Dirty Oil
  • Beats Against Colonialism: A Tribe Called Red
  • 5 Arlington: An Oral History of Ottawa’s ‘90s Punk

All that’s Left

  • White Riot: Punk Rock and the Politics of Race
  • It’s the Political Economy, Stupid
  • Is the CBC Worth Saving?
  • It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s… Another Capitalist Superhero
  • HAITI: How Many Deaths Does it Take?
  • Contrasting Perspectives on Latin America
  • Omar Khadr: Oh Canada
  • Growing Resistance: Canadian Farmers and the Politics of Genetically Modified Wheat
  • Alternative Media in Canada
  • Global NATO and the Catastrophic Failure in Libya
  • Telling the Truth in Dangerous Times

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