Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 20
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Miscione, Gianluca 2016. Myth, management of the unknown. Culture and Organization, Vol. 22, Issue. 1, p. 67.

    Baron, Professor Ranulph Glanville,, Philip and Müller, Albert 2015. Avec un “s”: histories of cybernetics and the ASC. Kybernetes, Vol. 44, Issue. 8/9, p. 1341.

    Díaz Nafría, José María Alfonso Cendón, Javier and Panizo Alonso, Luis 2015. Building up eParticipatory decision-making from the local to the global scale. Study case at the European Higher Education Area. Computers in Human Behavior, Vol. 47, p. 26.

    Hildbrand, Sandra and Bodhanya, Shamim 2015. Guidance on applying the viable system model. Kybernetes, Vol. 44, Issue. 2, p. 186.

    Clarke, Roger 2014. What drones inherit from their ancestors. Computer Law & Security Review, Vol. 30, Issue. 3, p. 247.

    Hildbrand, Sandra and Bodhanya, Shamim 2014. Application of the viable system model in a complex sugarcane supply chain. British Food Journal, Vol. 116, Issue. 12, p. 2048.

    FARRANT, ANDREW MCPHAIL, EDWARD and BERGER, SEBASTIAN 2012. Preventing the “Abuses” of Democracy: Hayek, the “Military Usurper” and Transitional Dictatorship in Chile?. American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Vol. 71, Issue. 3, p. 513.

    Guilhot, Nicolas 2011. Cyborg pantocrator: International relations theory from decisionism to rational choice. Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, Vol. 47, Issue. 3, p. 279.

    Haigh, Thomas 2011. The history of information technology. Annual Review of Information Science and Technology, Vol. 45, Issue. 1, p. 431.

    Letelier, Juan-Carlos Cárdenas, María Luz and Cornish-Bowden, Athel 2011. From L'Homme Machine to metabolic closure: Steps towards understanding life. Journal of Theoretical Biology, Vol. 286, p. 100.

    Yost, Jeffrey R. 2011. From the Editor's Desk. IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, Vol. 33, Issue. 4, p. 2.

    Hicks, Marie 2010. Only the Clothes Changed: Women Operators in British Computing and Advertising, 1950–1970. IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, Vol. 32, Issue. 4, p. 5.

    McDonald, Christopher 2010. Technology in the Political Landscape. IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, Vol. 32, Issue. 2, p. 87.

    Paasonen, Susanna 2010. Further Adventures of the Dialectic of Sex.

    Espejo, R. 2009. Performance management, the nature of regulation and the CyberSyn project. Kybernetes, Vol. 38, Issue. 1/2, p. 65.

    Leonard, Allenna 2009. The Viable System Model and Its Application to Complex Organizations. Systemic Practice and Action Research, Vol. 22, Issue. 4, p. 223.

    Novoa, Mauricio 2009. 2009 13th International Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work in Design. p. 654.

    Gerovitch, Slava 2008. InterNyet: why the Soviet Union did not build a nationwide computer network. History and Technology, Vol. 24, Issue. 4, p. 335.

    Medina, Eden 2008. Big Blue in the Bottomless Pit: The Early Years of IBM Chile. IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, Vol. 30, Issue. 4, p. 26.

    Medina, E. 2005. Computer Memory, Collective Memory: Recovering History through Chilean Computing. IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, Vol. 27, Issue. 4, p. 104.


Designing Freedom, Regulating a Nation: Socialist Cybernetics in Allende's Chile

  • EDEN MEDINA (a1) (a2)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 19 July 2006

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.

Hide All
The author wishes to thank the Social Science Research Council and the American Council of Learned Societies for supporting this research through an SSRC International Predissertation Fellowship as well as the Adelle and Erwin Tomash Fellowship in the History of Information Processing awarded by the Charles Babbage Institute. Part of this material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0322278. Any opinions, findings and conclusions expressed in the material are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. This work has benefited from the insight and criticism provided by David Mindell, Peter Winn, Hugh Gusterson, Chappell Lawson, members of the MIT STS writing workshop, and the anonymous reviewers.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of Latin American Studies
  • ISSN: 0022-216X
  • EISSN: 1469-767X
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-latin-american-studies
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *