Coronavirus News Asia

How to think post-Planet Lockdown

[ad_1]

Between unaccountability of elites and total fragmentation of civil society, Covid-19 as a circuit breaker is showing how the king – systemic design – is naked. 

We are being sucked into a danse macabre of multiple complex systems “colliding into one another,” producing all kinds of mostly negative feedback loops.   

What we already know for sure, as Shoshana Zuboff detailed in The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, is that “industrial capitalism followed its own logic of shock and awe” to conquer nature. But now  surveillance capitalism “has human nature in its sights.” 

In The Human Planet: How We Created the Anthropocene, analyzing the explosion in population growth, increasing energy consumption  and a tsunami of information “driven by the positive feedback loops of reinvestment and profit,” Simon Lewis and Mark Maslin of University College, London, suggest that our current mode of living is the “least probable” among several options. “A collapse or a switch to a new mode of living is more likely.” 

With dystopia and mass paranoia seemingly the law of the (bewildered) land, Michel Foucault’s analyses of biopolitics have never been so timely, as states across the world take over biopower – the control of people’s life and bodies.  

David Harvey, once again, shows how prophetic  was Marx, not only in his analyses of industrial capitalism but somehow – in Grundrisse: Foundations of the Critique of Political Economy – even forecasting the mechanics of digital capitalism: 

Marx, Harvey writes, “talks about the way that new technologies and knowledge become embedded in the machine: they’re no longer in the laborer’s brain, and the laborer is pushed to one side to become an appendage of the machine, a mere machine-minder. All of the intelligence and all of the knowledge, which used to belong to the laborers, and which conferred upon them a certain monopoly power vis-à-vis capital, disappear.”

Thus, adds Harvey, “the capitalist who once needed the skills of the laborer is now freed from that constraint, and the skill is embodied in the machine. The knowledge produced through science and technology flows into the machine, and the machine becomes ‘the soul’ of capitalist dynamism.” 

[ad_2]

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *