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Gabe Berry

Democratic Beat-Making: For a Democratically Planned World

By Gabe Berry

A social experiment in collaboration and democratic planning.

When you enter the website, you are introduced to a simple beat of three instruments that is collectively controlled by potentially hundreds of people. As you look further, there are blank canvases with which to play, where they can create their own instruments and sequences. When you are satisfied with their result, you can upload the creation to be voted on by all users participating on the site. Likewise, you would be able to vote on other creations with the consideration of how the creation fits with the main music as a whole. But then, if you wanted to change the main beat, you would need the collective action of all of the people participating to “spam” a preset that was voted on.

From there, you could discuss with other people on the forum how should they go about planning the music. You can also go to an instant messaging channel to discuss which preset in the main mix people should select and coordinate their efforts for any given moment. You would be encouraged to fight for your ideas, and you would also be encouraged to build the maximum unity of the collective through democratic discussion and debate.

All of this reflects a new order that can be fought for right at this moment. This experiment is against utopias, and instead fights for a reality that our society’s current productive forces are entirely capable of harnessing. This experiment does not shy away from having a political point of view. It’s aim is a revolutionary, socialist society. It’s method is democracy. It’s ideas, Marxist. Among many questions this will raise and will be discussed, the central questions you should ask are if people can democratically plan a piece of music together, why not a whole world? If so, how do we get there?