Tag: Between Post-Capitalism and Techno-Fascism

In various posts over the last few years, I’ve written about my fascination with images of civilisational collapse. Reading Riots and Political Protest, by Steve Hall, Simon Winlow, Daniel Briggs and James Treadwell, I find myself wondering if this fascination is in large part because of how ‘civilisational collapse’ and the ‘end of capitalism’ tend […]

From pg 12-13 of Colin Crouch’s The Strange Non-Death of Neoliberalism: These then were the principal ingredients of the socioeconomic order that came eventually to be called social democratic, without initial capital letters:  1 – Keynesian demand management in which government action, far from trying to destroy markets, sought to sustain them at levels avoiding […]

Are journalists personally afraid of a Trump presidency? That’s the suggestion of this Vox article: In my experience, it goes yet deeper than this. Quietly, privately, political reporters wonder if Trump is a threat to them personally — if he were president, would he use the powers of the office to retaliate against them personally […]

Bleak but plausible predictions from Nick Srniceck and Alex Williams in their Inventing the Future. From loc 2020-2035: 1. The precarity of the developed economies’ working class will intensify due to the surplus global labour supply (resulting from both globalisation and automation).  2. Jobless recoveries will continue to deepen and lengthen, predominantly affecting those whose […]

A really interesting suggestion from loc 3681-3691 from Douglas Rushkoff’s Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus: In terms of fully decentralized commerce, these platform cooperatives are still just steps along the way to digital distributism. As long as there’s a central platform—a Web site or other hub to maintain—there will always be a need for central […]

This is the second time I’ve encountered this idea recently. How plausible is it? From Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus, by Douglas Rushkoff, loc 1384: Digital technology, though, might finally give corporations the autonomy they need to make decisions without us, and even the bodies they need to execute their choices in the real […]

This looks like a fascinating call for papers: Anarchist Technologies Repair Manual fixing the world through resistance and repair CFP: Call for Papers for an Edited Book Anarchism is experiencing a renaissance in locations all across the world. Facilitated by information technologies, new anarchist communities are forming and more established ones are gaining greater recognition. […]

From The Black Box Society, by Frank Pasquale, pg 52: An unaccountable surveillance state may pose a greater threat to liberty than any particular terror threat. It is not a spectacular dangers, but rather an erosion of a range of freedoms. Most insidiously, the “watchers” have the power to classify those who dare to point […]

From Code 2.0 by Larry Lessig, loc 159: Born in a research project in the Defense Department, 1cyberspace too arose from the unplanned displacement of a certain architecture of control. The tolled, single-purpose network of telephones was displaced by the untolled and multipurpose network of packet-switched data. And thus the old one-to-many architectures of publishing […]

Perhaps something rather like this. From a disturbing but important article: The scary thing about VR as a torture device is its versatility. “It’s difficult to conceive of the upper limits of distress. The human mind’s capacity for suffering is tremendously vast,” the people at BeAnotherLab told me, “as is human ingenuity to cause suffering […]

I’m very interested in this concept, which I was introduced to through the work of Pierpaolo Donati and Andrea Maccarini earlier this year. It emerged from the work of Arnold Gehlen and refers to the role of human institutions in unburdening us from existential demands. This is quoted from his Human Beings and Institutions on pg 257 […]

There’s an interesting summary in Mediated Memories, by Jose van Dijck, pg 100-101 detailing research into the power of doctored media to shape false narratives: In the early 1990s, researchers from America and New Zealand persuaded experimental subjects into believing false narratives about their childhoods, written or told by family members and substantiated by “true” […]

This is an idea put forward by James Bryce, a British observer of the United States, in 1889: This tendency to acquiescence and submission, this sense of the insignificance of individual effort, this belief that the affairs of men are swayed by large forces whose movement may be studied but cannot be turned, I have ventured […]

From Pg 43 of Zygmunt Bauman’s Wasted Lives. Could any recommend an analysis of the ecological impact of digitalisation? I assume it intensifies the longstanding trend Bauman discusses here: Rich nations can afford a high density of population because they are ‘high entropy’ centres, drawing resources, most notably the sources of energy, from the rest […]

From The Boy Who Could Change The World: The Writings of Aaron Swartz, loc 283: But if it turns out that doesn’t work, I’ve also been looking into a system called Compulsory Licensing. The idea is that you pay about $5 more a month on your cable modem bill in exchange for being able to […]

This address to Congress seems remarkably relevant given current events in the United States. It’s quoted in The Deep State, by  Mike Lofgren, page 30: Unhappy events abroad have retaught us two simple truths about the liberty of a democratic people. The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if […]