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.However, TC argues, capital’s own compulsive drive to integrate the proletariat as a factor of production to be used or ejected at will eventually breaks down any appearance of a social contract.This begins to occur from the 1970s on with what is colloquially called ‘neoliberal’ globalization, privatization and technological assault on the organized working class.TC (2011) makes a Pascalian ‘wager’ that facing this no-holds barred offensive, reformist compromise will become impossible; the proletariat will have to throw into question its own existence as one pole of the capitalism that attacks it.Communisation theory seems to stand at an opposite extreme from the revolutionary optimism of autonomism.It is very critical of Hardt and Negri’s post-operaismo line and its concept of a spontaneously unified multitude.It insists that, on the contrary, the proletariat’s implication in capital results in an endless series of divisions and conflicts between its more and less favoured segments.At the same time, communisation theory’s insistence that such divisions ride towards a revolutionary denouement seems highly implausible absent the active circulation of struggles to overcome such divisions theorized by autonomists.We therefore read autonomist and communisation theory with and against each other, taking up those lines of autonomist thought that deal not with multitude, but with proletarianization, and understanding this as a contradictory process both of and against capital, a current within the vortex than can twist back on itself to collapse the very storm of which it is an intrinsic part.Silicon CycloneThe intensification of the machinic element in the value vortex occurs in bursts and abrupt condensations precipitated by wars and economic crisis.The most recent of these sudden machinic injections, the cybernetic revolution, was occasioned by the Second World War and by the Cold War.The digital computer and the digital network, developed for use against capital’s external enemies, was incubated within the US national security state.They then rapidly migrated to form the basis of commercial industries (still subsidized by military contracts) selling computers first to other capitalist enterprises, who deployed them as weapons of automation and outsourcing in internal class conflicts, and then, as processing power rose and cost and size fell, as successive generations of consumer goods – PCs, laptops, notebooks, tablets, smartphones – making the very texture of everyday life in advanced capitalist society cybernetic.This ‘digital capitalism’ (Schiller 1999), initiated in the United States, and then transferring to Europe and Japan, continues to be largely headquartered in these advanced zones.It has nevertheless spread out from the centre of the capitalist world system on a runaway trajectory transforming the relation of its core and peripheral regions.Following a path marked out in earlier studies (Robins and Webster 1988; Garnham 1990; Manzerolle and Kjøsen 2012), the consequences of this cybernetic revolution can be charted across the three moments of capital’s vortex – production, circulation and finance.In production, cybernetics appears as a new intensity of automation, transforming the labour process with a new type of fixed capital.This occurs first in manufacturing, with the arrival of numerically controlled machine tools, industrial robotics and systematized assemblages of computer-guided flexible production, accompanied by new forms of workplace organization, comprehensive systems of total management control, and demands for new types of labour subjectivity quite different from those of the mass worker (see Roth 2010: 210–11).These industrial applications are soon followed by the increasing computerization of office work and the emergence of whole new forms of cultural production – websites, video games, chat rooms – based in digital technologies and closely linked with the cybernetic transformation of circulation.In circulation, cybernetics makes its entrance as the network, or rather the network of networks, the internet.In the part of the circulation process that leads commodities out of production into the market, it manifests in an acceleration in capital’s sales effort as the possibilities of the networked computer are appropriated for advertising and shopping, moving from primitive forms of e-marketing such as pop-up ads and commercial portals to the intensities of tracking and prediction made possible on Web 2.0 where social media and search engines enlist the free labour and personal data of millions of users.In the circulation into production phase, where the commodities of labour power and raw materials are purchased in order to make more commodities, networks are a matter of supply chains, electronically connecting geographically separated but functionally integrated business operations.Telecommunications infrastructures, modularized interfaces, bar codes and RFIDs enable a logistical revolution which allows capital to reach out to global labour and resource pools.This is the aspect of cybernetics that, rather than replacing labour, expands it globally, but at the lowest possible rate, and with maximum disposability in a savage labour arbitrage.Here too, in a vast remaking of the international division of labour, cybernetics activates new subjectivities, most basically those of the millions of migrant workers pouring off the land into new industrial zones that are the end points of the electronic supply chains, and then in successive levels of cultural and economic change arising from this transplantation [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]