Friday, April 8, 2011

Now we will elaborate further on an aspect of the control society we mentioned briefly in the first post. Castells' comment that the switches that connect networks--financial flows--are the privileged instruments of power. ("Global Network" ST 621)

Goddamn this leviathan global capitalism! Like Howard Beale, you can't help but be dumbstruck by the gargantuan power it wields. Deleuze writes in Control Society that
"businesses take over from factories, and a business is a soul, is a gas...Corruption here takes on a new power. The sales department becomes a business' center or soul. We're told businesses have souls, which is surely the most terrifying news in the world. Marketing is now the instrument of social control and produces the arrogant breed who are our masters." The forces of observation and control are omnipresent. "In control societies you never finish anything--business, training, and military service being coexisting...a sort of universal transmutation." (p.179)

Castells, Levina, and Kien remind us how our culture revolves around networks. Social media networks like Facebook and Twitter are among the most prominent, while Reddit
is a massive aggregate information and entertainment forum. These rhizomes are incredible for their ability to instantly communicate across the globe, but Levina and Kien suggest caution when interacting with the network. ("Post-Global Network" p.2) This video explains the commercial importance of data gathered from social network sites, while this video traces the financial foundations of Facebook. Both videos quote from Facebook's privacy policy. The current text of their Statement of Rights and Responsibilities is slightly different but it continues to grant to Facebook open-ended access and control over your data.

Remember, it all boils down to the network.

There is only one holistic system of systems. One vast and immane, interwoven, interacting, multi-varied, multi-national dominion of dollars.

It is the international system of currency which determines the totality of life on this planet. That is the natural order of things today. That is the atomic, and sub-atomic and galactic structure of things today. We no longer live in a world of nations and ideologies, Mr Beale. The world is a college of corporations, inexorably determined by the immutable bye-laws of of business. The world is a business. One vast and ecumenical holding company for whom all men will work to serve a common profit. In which all men will hold a share of stock.

All necessities provided. All anxieties tranquilized. All boredom amused.

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