پنجشنبه، آبان ۰۷، ۱۳۸۳

they continue to look back



Jussi Vähämäki, ‎Ephemera, Controlling the ‎Multitude

[abstract]
The constitutive political problem in the knowledge society or ‎knowledge economy is basically the same as it was in the industrial capitalism: how to ‎govern, organize and control the labour force. What has happened in the last decades is ‎that the concept of labour force has lost more and more of its physical and biological ‎aspects. It has detached from its specific uses or ends and become, paraphrasing the ‎famous expression of Marx, a real abstraction. Today, the labour force is primarily a ‎mental category. And it is impossible to organize, control and locate mind through the ‎place it belongs to and thorough the deeds it does. The mental labour force does not have ‎strict spatial and temporal (linear) coordinates. This forces contemporary capitalism to ‎develop new kinds of tools (that) characterize the digital era: tools of mind (John Zysman). ‎These new tools focus directly on the elementary faculties of humans and not on their ‎performances or products. New tools of mind are developed to increase the efficiency of ‎the elementary faculties of the human mind and to control the use of these faculties. As ‎tools of mind they have to respect the abstract reality of the human mind, its spatial ‎boundlessness and its temporal endlessness (nonlinearity). They have to be abstract, but at ‎the same time these new tools have to have real efficiency to guide and control action and ‎reasoning. This article takes the concept of commonplace as a model to the new tools of ‎mind and tries to unfold some of the basic aspects of this linguistic real abstraction in the ‎knowledge economy and the mystical interconnection it has with the sensibly-concrete ‎that counts only as the form of appearance of the abstractly general. ‎‎

[excerpt]

If the basic political problem during industrial capitalism and ‎Fordist society was physical control of labour force in definite places like the factory and ‎its (biological) protection in the Welfare State, in the knowledge society this problem is ‎how to govern and control a labour force that is mental, immaterial and communicative and ‎exists only as knowledge in time. To control boundless, amorphous and restless mind, ‎modern capitalism needs to occupy its whole environment.

The vagueness of ‎knowledge production means that the arkhe of organizing in contemporary economy is ‎deficit of information. It is from this deficit of information that the new methods of ‎organizing and controlling work and production grow in contemporary society. Using the ‎expression of Gilles Deleuze, they do not mould action, but they model it. This means that ‎new tools of the mind are basically mimetic or imitative in their nature.

Control is ‎exercise of power as a mental attitude which has become public opinion. It is not at all ‎necessarily disciplinary or, as Gilles Deleuze says:

Highway is not a means to hold ‎anyone in place, but by building more highways the means of control become multiplied. I ‎am not saying that this is the only purpose of highways, but they may be driven endlessly ‎and .freely. without never becoming held up, and still you are all the time in total control. ‎‎(Deleuze, 1989).

The problem with mimetic or mass behaviour is ‎fundamentally the deficit of information. It is impossible to control and guide mimetic ‎behaviour with such traditional means as information or fear. What is needed is ‎a persuasive technology that can change what people believe and what they do in a way ‎that no one knows exactly why she believes in this or behaves in that way.

The ‎modern media system or knowledge society grows from the crisis of
transmitting ‎information (and not from the information glut).

For the clearest political definition ‎of the concept [of the multitude], see Virno (2002). Virno’s little book is ‎one the best analyses of the significance of the concept and the clearest summing up of its ‎different aspects. Negri says in his interview book Il ritorno that the ‎concept of multitude has different meanings: First a philosophical and positive: The ‎multitude is a multiplicity of subjects...The multitude is an indivisible multiplicity, an ‎infinite quantity of points, a differentiated set, absolutely differentiated. (2003: 139). ‎Secondly .the multitude is a class concept: the class of the productive singularities, the ‎class of the workers of the immaterial labour.

A class that has no unity, but that despite of ‎that is the ensemble of the creative powers of labour. Third aspect: the multitude is a ‎ontological power. It incarnates a dispositive that has a capacity to potentialise the desire ‎and transform the world. Or better still: it wants to create the world as its own image. ‎‎(2003: 140-141).

When mind or spirit turns out to be the main target of ‎governance use and user instead of production and producer seem to dictate the future of ‎society. The passage from society of producers to the production of society has its echoes ‎on different levels of contemporary society. It is possible to discern symptoms almost ‎everywhere. Cynicism, greediness and opportunism are prevailing emotions and transform ‎other people and the world into mere objects for use.

The new middle class and ‎society of services save us from class-conflicts. In
philosophy and cultural studies critique ‎of metaphysics and ontology dominates
at the same time as people live one of the biggest ‎revolutions in their
everyday life, in their habits, and are in desperate need of depth and
‎perspective to orientate themselves in the world.


Jussi Vähämäki,Ephemera, Controlling the ‎Multitude

۳ نظر:

  1. Check this out for another take on MultitudeThanks for the link to this issue of Ephemera!

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  2. dear friends,
    follow the link above and find the link to full text of hardt and negri's empire.

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  3. Riservare qui i suoi biglietti per i musei più importanti di Firenze e Romaindiano

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