Matilde Marcolli’s recent paper “The Problem of Scale in Anarchism and the Case for Cybernetic Communism” (signed Aurora Apolita), is an important and timely contribution to anarchist and communist thought, weaving together rich knowledge of these histories with advancements in complexity theory and algorithmic information theory.
I completely agree with her that we need to replace markets as our predominant form of social computation. Why are we still slaves to the oracle of the market? It sees nothing of what we actually value, and is, as she rightly notes, biased toward generating capitalism, as the system falls onto its attractor. Importantly, the market cannot track or measure our progress toward more effective, efficient, distributed, and equalizing forms of organization; meanwhile we have all these tools for modelling complexity and integration which are not being sufficiently embraced by the left. Meanwhile, through progress in information theory and computation, we now have ways of measuring and modelling the complexity and integration of social organization and infrastructure. It is time for the left to fully embrace artificial intelligence and cybernetics. One way or another there will be a social computation. Why not set a course for effective complexity which we know mathematically to be more efficient (less energy consumption per part, less impact on nature per part)? Furthermore, though these are the elements that still need to be worked out, I believe that these same models, if appropriately quantified, could track progress in the reduction of inequality between political agents.