Sobre os os projectos colaborativos na Internet, Kevin Carson escreve:
The Web is not “collective” in the traditional sense of the term–i.e., as it was understood in the days before networked organization, when “collective” action could be taken only through large institutions representing some collective of human beings and coordinated by a hierarchy, in which each individual’s freedom of initiative was limited by the coordination of a central authority.E um texto de há 90 anos atrás, uma passagem da "Carta aberta ao camarada Lenine", de Herman Gorter (em resposta a "O Esquerdismo, Doença Infantil do Comunismo"), também sobre o tema da relação entre individualismo e colectivismo (não no contexto da internet, mas no contexto dos "Conselhos Operários" - a que ele chama "organizações industriais"):
It is stigmergic, which synthesizes the highest development of both the collective and individualism. It maximizes the efficiency of collective action by removing the transaction costs of voluntary cooperation. But at the same time, it is entirely a sum total of free individual actions, taken by individuals on their own initiative and without anyone else’s permission. The sum total effect is created by individuals coordinating their own unconstrained actions with the common goal as they understand it.
So stigmergy is the highest realization of both individualism and collectivism, without either diminishing or qualifying the other in any way.”
The industrial unions and workshop organisations, and the Workers’ Unions that are based on them and formed from them, why are they such excellent weapons for the revolution in Western Europe, the best weapons even together with the Communist Party? Because the workers act for themselves, infinitely more so than they did in the old Trade Unions, because now they control their leaders, and thereby the entire leadership, and because they have the supervision of the industrial organisation, and thereby of the entire union.
Every trade, every workshop is one whole, where the workers elect their representatives. The industrial organisations have been divided according to economic districts. Representatives have been appointed for the districts. And the districts in turn elect the general board for the entire State.
All the industrial organisations together, no matter to what trade they belong, constitute the one Workers’ Union.
This, as we see, is an organisation altogether directed towards the revolution.
If an interval of comparatively peaceful fighting should follow, this organisation might moreover be easily adapted. The industrial organisations would only have to be combined, according to the industries, within the compass of the Workers’ Unions.
It is obvious. Here the workers, every worker, has power, for in his workshop he elects his own delegates, and through them he has direct control over the district and State bodies. There is strong centralisation, but not too strong. The individual and the industrial organisation has great power. He can dismiss or replace his delegates at any time, and compel them to replace the higher positions at the shortest notice. This is individualism, but not too much of it. For the central corporations, the districts and government councils have great power. The individual and the central board have just that amount of power, which this present period, in which the revolution breaks out, requires and allows.
Marx writes that under capitalism the citizen is an abstraction, a cipher, as compared to the State. It is the same in the Trade Unions. The bureaucracy, the entire system of the organisation plane ever so far above, and are altogether out of the reach of the worker. He cannot reach them. He is a cipher as compared to them, an abstraction. For them he is not even the man in the workshop. He is not a living, willing, struggling being. If in the old Trade Unions you replace the bureaucracy by other persons, you will see that before long these also have the same character; that they stand high, unattainably high above the masses, and are in no way in touch with them. Ninety-nine out of every hundred will be tyrants, and will stand on the side of the bourgeoisie. It is the very nature of the organisation that makes them so.
Your tactics strive to leave the Trade Unions as they are, “down below,” and only to give them other leaders somewhat more of the Left trend, is therefore purely a change “up above.” And the Trade Unions remain in the power of leaders. And these, once spoilt, everything is as of old, or at the very best, a slight improvement in the layers up above. No, not even if you yourself, or we ourselves, were the leaders, we would not consent to this. For we wish to enable the masses themselves to become more intelligent, more courageous, self-acting, more elevated in all things. We want the masses themselves to make the revolution. For only thus the revolution can triumph here in Western Europe. And to this end the old Trade Unions must be destroyed.
How utterly different it is in the industrial unions. Here it is the worker himself who decides about tactics, trend, and struggle, and who intervenes if the “leaders” do not act as he wants them to. The factory, the workshop, being at the same time the organisation, he stands continually in the fight himself.
In so far as it is possible under capitalism, he is the maker and the guide of his own fate, and as this is the case with every one of them, THE MASS IS THE MAKER AND LEADER OF ITS OWN FIGHT.
More, infinitely more so, than was ever possible in the old Trade Unions, reformist as well as syndicalist.
The industrial unions and workers’ unions that make the individuals themselves, and consequently the masses themselves, the direct fighters, those that really wage the war, are for that very reason the best weapons for the revolution, the weapons we need here in Western Europe, if ever we shall be able without help to overthrow the most powerful capitalism of the world.