Miller Medina, Jessica Eden: Designing Freedom, Regulating a Nation: Socialist Cybernetics in Allende’s Chile (2006)

28 June 2009, dusan

This article presents a history of ‘Project Cybersyn’, an early computer network developed in Chile during the socialist presidency of Salvador Allende (1970–1973) to regulate the growing social property area and manage the transition of Chile’s economy from capitalism to socialism. Under the guidance of British cybernetician Stafford Beer, often lauded as the ‘ father of management cybernetics ’, an interdisciplinary Chilean team designed cybernetic models of factories within the nationalised sector and created a network for the rapid transmission of economic data between the government and the factory floor. The article describes the construction of this unorthodox system, examines how its structure reflected the socialist ideology of the Allende government, and documents the contributions of this technology to the Allende administration.

Published in Journal of Latin American Studies 38, pp. 571–606, Cambridge University Press, 2006

Related articles

Related: Eden Medina: Cybernetic Revolutionaries: Technology and Politics in Allende’s Chile (2011)
Related: The State Machine: Politics, Ideology, and Computation in Chile, 1964-1973 (Dissertation thesis, by Medina and Eden, 2005, PDF)

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