Network cultures and the architecture of decision

G. Lovink, N. Rossiter

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


The diversity of the movement, the informality and speed of the network, the rituals of the assembly and the formal power of the party: each political form has its distinct features and dynamics. Medium theory always taught us that expression is shaped by the contours and material properties of communication technologies. The same can be said for these organizational political forms. They hold a capacity to mediate and conform to an extent dictated by their typology, enabling certain processes while frustrating others. No matter their internal variation—there are many different kinds of networks, just as there are assemblies and so forth—there is something distinct about their organizational forms. Lately, there is growing discontent over event-centred movements. The question of how to reach a critical mass that goes beyond the celebration of temporary euphoria is essential here. How can we get over the obvious statements about the weather and other meta fluctuations (from Zeitgeist to astrology)? Instead of contrasting the Leninist party model with the anarcho-horizontalist celebration of the general assembly, we propose to integrate the general network intellect into the organization debate. We’ve moved on a good 150 years since the Marx–Bakunin debates. We should start sabotaging the pressure to update and grow our networks. Strategies, if not devices, are required that shortcut the implicit competition that so often compels us to act. The proposal here is to intensify what’s already there and collaborate—instead of merely communicate—in ways that ensure existence is a political force to be reckoned with. Call it a lingering passion to invent. Organized networks, also called ‘orgnets’, are first and foremost unidentified theoretical objects. Read it as a proposal to undermine the fear of missing out.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCritical perspectives on social media and protest
Subtitle of host publicationbetween control and emancipation
EditorsLina Dencik, Oliver Leistert
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRowman & Littlefield International
ISBN (Print)9781783483358
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Publication series

NameCritical Perspectives on Social Media and Protest: Between Control And Emancipation


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