Cybernetics of Governance: The Cybersyn Project 1971–1973

  • Raul EspejoEmail author
Part of the Translational Systems Sciences book series (TSS, volume 1)


In this paper I offer personal reflections 40 years after Cybersyn’s demise the 11th of September 1973. This project was Stafford Beer’s creation, underpinned by his Viable System Model. The emphasis of these reflections is in contrasting its rather limited achievements with its vision and relevance for our societies today. Its claims were large; it was presented as a project that achieved important results in a short period of time. The paper compares its actuality with these claims. Particularly I explore the project’s methodological and epistemological shortcomings. Unravelling these shortcomings gives us a platform to gain an understanding of its potentialities. I will argue that Stafford Beer’s vision of a “Liberty Machine” was ahead of its time and furthermore that it has profound implications for our current societies, in particularly for the organization of our economies.


Cybersyn Economy Epistemology Liberty Machine Methodology Viable System Model 


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.World Organisation of Systems and CyberneticsLincolnUK

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