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Re: <nettime> [NetworkedLabour] NEW FROM VERSO: INVENTING THE FUTURE BY
Orsan on Sun, 8 Nov 2015 16:10:12 +0100 (CET)


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Re: <nettime> [NetworkedLabour] NEW FROM VERSO: INVENTING THE FUTURE BY NICK SRNICEK AND ALEX WILLIAMS


   Dear all,

   Below is McKenzie Wark's review of the recent book of Srnicek and
   Williams; Inventing Future.

   Wark is an interesting figure since he sits both between and outside of
   classes, rulers and the ruled, marxists and post marxists, autonomists
   and situationists, ideas and practices, academia and media,.. an
   outsider may be a bit like Lefebvre.

   I did read and enjoyed a lot his Hacker's Manifesto, long after started
   to work on the GNUnion idea in 2010 (design experiment for a
   worker-hacker-farmer-students...'s union - then was not aware the IWWW
   fiction of Cory Doctorov too) and found about his engagement with
   Alexander Bogdanov in 2014; and this was after finding about Bogdanov's
   work following 15 years long search I made for the Energetic
   Materialist methodology referred by SultanGaliev. These two separate
   occasions, to be honest, made me over enthusiastic about Wark and his
   work and projects he involved; as Bogdanov Library (by Historical
   Materialism journal), or his recent book Molecular Red.

   Of course after more readings, on Public Seminar (new school page) and
   other places, and several exchanges about his writings, style, and his
   critics, etc. and trying to contact him, my enthusiasm got tamed till
   healthy level. Since there were problems that are valid for everyone
   else, this was part of a healthy self-learning process. Although,
   keeping my own and others righty made criticism as reserve, there are
   important ones amongst the issues he risen or fingered out: First one
   and primarily the need for sort of invention of non-pyramidal (un and
   self-instiutional) forms, that would allow, as Bogdanov puts it, the
   skeletal form that would holds the plastic (network) part of
   organization in order to self-organize the emancipation globally.


   With respect to question directed by a comrade, or request to not make
   easy things complicated, I think what is needed at this point of
   history is to take several steps forward in order to create a space of
   comradely solidarity politics, between ideas of and around:

   - Labour organizing and networking, platform co-operativism, commons,
   and solidarity economy, and people's internet (all taking peace,
   gender, and environment issue to its core)

   In order to develop or produce such a social space for
   commons-solidarity politics, that is autonomous from the state and the
   capital, what is needed is p2p networking labour of all involved, but
   primarily the grassroots collectives and individual projects;

   -This has to be done towards, in, and beyond Montreal WSF in August
   2016

   -By inviting all groups and individuals to expand a transnational
   social space in self-decentralized way

   -Through event designed and implemented locally and integrated
   transnationally via cyber and analog tools.

   -Such events can be harmonically organized in every hacker space, every
   occupy assembly, every transition town, every co-worker spaces, every
   worker coops, unions, labour groups, so on if they like to respond to
   such invitation.

   if e invitation is appealing to local groups there can be autonomous
   platforms created (inter cultural and lingual) to iner-connect (via
   online platforms, live streams, chat channels, collaborative tools,
   e-lists, etc. what ever people like or used to use).

   In order to think of and initiate something like this a nice, caring,
   respectful, mindful, recognizing, open invitation to be prepared and
   distributed to anyone interested.

   ----
   The above in one of the ways to follow, in my humble opinion, to invent
   the future, or at least not to lose the hope totally in coming years.
   There are at the moment good and interlocking people (fellowship of the
   ring) already talking and thinking around the lines. Some of the
   related e-lists already cc'ed or bcc'ed here.
   That would be great to see people from these lists to inter-connect the
   discussions and practical work being kicked off. And be happy and
   grateful to hear any reaction, and if anyone consider to give an hand,
   or spread the word.



   In fraternal and comradely solidarity,

   Orsan



   On 7 nov. 2015, at 09:57, peter waterman
   <peterwaterman1936 {AT} gmail.com> wrote:

   And here if the 'Full Wark' on Srnicek and Williams. Definitely worth
   reading!
   P
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   CapitalismLetters

Inventing the Future

   McKenzie Wark -- October 27, 2015
   2,352 5 0
   5f871e3c-b790-4289-89be-0a792f4ccfc4

   The key lesson of Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams' Inventing the
   Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work (Verso, 2015) is summed
   up in an epigram from Jodi Dean: "Goldman Sachs doesn't care if you
   raise chickens." (26) This new book encouragse us to think big, to
   organize around ideas that scale. As such its useful corrective to
   those flavors of political thought and action that want to privilege
   the local and the ethical.

   "The ambition here is to take the future back from capitalism." (127)
   Which would be all well and good if there still was a future. The
   encounter that never arrives in Srnicek and Williams (hereafter S+W) is
   with, say, the work of John Bellamy Foster or Jason Moore,
   which would seriously question whether one can still think of a social
   or political future without thinking about the Anthropocene. The
   accumulated molecular waste products of modernity now cycle through the
   whole earth system, undermining its relative stability. The gritty
   facticity of the world rather puts a damper on dreaming of accelerating
   through the rough on into the smooth.

   It does indeed appear, as S+W say, that the commodity form has
   colonized the future. Here in the over-developed world, we can have
   a shiny new tech, but always bound by obsolete social relations.
   Organized labor has had its power diminished to the point where cannot
   even demand social democratic alternatives.

   There is a ritualistic aspect of today's politics. Make your signs for
   the the obligatory demo. Resistance becomes a cultural form. S+W call
   this a folk politics. This is a sort of political commonsense, what
   Raymond Williams might call a structure of feeling. But, argue S+W,
   it is out of step with what's needed today.

   Folk politics privileges immediacy as authentic. It rejects the problem
   of hegemony. Sometimes, as in the later writing of the Invisible
   Committee, for a simplistic friend/enemy model of politics. In my view,
   hegemony is rather about a politics of the non-friend and the
   non-enemy. Its about forming partial and temporary alliances, where
   goals or opponents might overlap.

   Folk politics is not particularly interested in such questions, nor in
   those of how to structure or mediate complex ensembles of political
   forces. It makes a fetish of direct action. It privileges feeling over
   thinking, and the everyday experience over institutional forms. Besides
   the Invisible Committee, another example of this might be Occupy,
   although where S+W stress what they have in common, one might also
   point to differences, for example between the consensus model of direct
   democracy in Occupy versus the direct action of affinity groups in the
   Invisible Committee.

   Folk politics begins and ends with what is local. For S+W the question
   is what could be built out of this. How can a people's movement get
   from folk politics to a broader, deeper political form? Actual power
   these days is a matter of complex systems, not amenable to the
   affective styles of folk politics. But one might also raise here the
   problem that a more abstract kind of political project, uniting
   different peoples over the long haul, might not be possible on the
   basis of a rationalistic language alone. It too may need affect and
   even belief. Can we have the common goods without the common gods?

   Folk politics reacts against the common gods of the socialist and
   communist past, which it often sees as spectacle, a mere extrusion of
   commodity and state power. "The voluntaristic image that sees
   mediations, institutions and abstractions as opposed to freedom simply
   confuses the absence of artifice with the full expression of freedom."
   (81) Here I think the pro- and post-situationist continuum has rather
   misread the situationist legacy, seeing only the heroic project of
   the total negation of spectacle. There's other resources in that
   movement, from Asger Jorn's alternate theories of value to Michele
   Bernstein's novel take on play as strategy, to Constant's
   accelerationist masterpiece, New Babylon.

   Folk politics it has not replaced even the social-democratic imaginary
   with anything that can move and sustain a popular politics. Nor can it
   deal with the complex systems of economics, international politics or -
   most important of all - climate change. Or so S+W charge. Mind you, I
   am not entirely convinced they have a better appreciation of the last
   of these either.

   "Folk politics appears as an attempt to make global capitalism small
   enough to be thinkable." (15) The thing about complex systems is that
   they can't be experienced directly. As Toscano and Kinkle might
   say, we lack a of cognitive map and have lost the capacity to locate
   ourselves in history. The separation of the individual, as an
   individual, from the totality, in the form of spectacle, leads to a
   personalized thought devoid of a politics with more than local
   grievances, gestures of resistance or ethical feelings. Mind you, it
   might be interesting here to put S+W together with Hiroki Azuma,
   who wonders how the general will or political unconscious might reveal
   itself via the database of social media - a tantalizing and frightening
   prospect.

   S+W agree with the common narratives in which the 70s are a watershed
   moment. The old party machines of social democracy start to break. New
   social movements arise that the old political machines have a hard time
   assimilating, whether its civil rights, environmentalists or
   situationists. The idea gets about that political power as inherently a
   bad thing. It's an idea that points left but also right, to libertarian
   free-market anti-statism as well.

   I'm not terribly satisfied by the narrative that attributes much of the
   decline of the social-democratic compact to the "emergence of
   neoliberal thought" (20) As in Wendy Brown, there's a tendency to
   treat the domain of the political as both autonomous and even
   determinate. I would rather see it as reactive, and trace the
   significant changes to those in the forces of production (and
   reproduction). The rise of the extensive vector of communication
   combined with the intensive vector of computation opened up whole new
   ways of bypassing the bottlenecks of popular power and of valuing and
   mobilizing everything on the planet as a resource.

   In my view, the vector enabled a third wave of commodification. After
   the commodification of land and labor comes the commodification of
   information, and with it all aspects of social life, from production to
   reproduction. Hence the breakdown of organized labor is not at the
   hands of "ideas of intersectional oppressions." (21) On the contrary,
   all forms of oppression and exploitation are thrown into contact with
   each other as commodification extends to a space of information in
   which everything is progressively drawn under the sign of exchange
   value.

   It's a new kind of totality that forces antagonistic movements onto the
   defensive, and back into local bases. There were two stages to an
   attepted response. One was the World Social Forum movement, the
   theoretical companion to which was Hardt and Negri's rather
   optimistic assessment of the constitutive powers of the multitude. The
   second was Occupy, which happened in the rather more straightened era
   following the War on Terror and the collapse of the rather ornate
   information-centric accumulation that goes by the name of `Wall
   Street.'

   S+W: "In a world where the most serious problems we face seem
   intractably complex, folk politics presents an alluring way to
   prefigure egalitarian futures in the present." (22) Well, at least that
   was something. Folk politics such as Occupy rejects the "long march
   through the institutions" in favor of horizontalism. It wants to reject
   all forms of domination, but fails to construct persistent political
   structures. Here it joins hands with a critique of representation, to
   which it will counter-pose  pre-figurative action.

   It is not entirely true that Occupy Wall St made a fetish of direct
   democracy. But it can be said that the movement did collapse from
   exhaustion and boredom, as the Invisible Committee also charge. The
   potentially counter-hegemonic slogan of "we are the 99%" faltered. Mind
   you, it wasn't the local politics that failed here, it was precisely
   the intermediate institutional ones that failed to build on Occupy as a
   base. I would want to give rather more credit to the heroic efforts of
   Occupy activists here.

   S+W neglect the moment of Occupy Sandy, which built a form of
   mutual aid that no longer needed Zuccotti Park as a base, but still it
   is the case that these movements could not scale. Even in Egypt or
   Tunisia or Argentina, folk politics met certain limits. Perhaps these
   were more like survival tactics than pre-figurative politics. S+W: "A
   politics that finds its best expression in the breakdown of social and
   economic order is not an alternative..." (39)

   While it seems ethically appealing to stress the local, one has to
   wonder how efficient it could ever be. It might take very big
   infrastructures to really minimize carbon output, as S+W suggest. But
   one might have expected them to think from this point of view more
   consistently. As Moore points out, the growth engines of the
   over-developed world rely on cheap inputs of raw materials and food,
   coming from parts of the world where `nature' takes care of reproducing
   these resources, or used to. Perhaps these conditions of possibility
   for social democracy in the west no longer exist.

   Moore also points out how `cheap nature' was a condition of possibility
   for the neoliberal turn, to which one might add the role of the vector
   in creating cheap information about those resources and the possibility
   of deploying them. Thus one could think `neoliberalism' more as an
   opportunistic ideological formation that took advantage of certain
   changing conditions in the forces of production, which drove an
   intra-ruling class struggle. It is the sign of the victory of those
   whose business is making information over those whose business was the
   making of things.

   There's a good summary in S+W on how neoliberalism came together
   institutionally to become an hegemonic ideology. It was always a
   political project. It is different from classical liberalism in
   assigning a role to the state. They understand that markets are not
   naturally self-regulating. The state has to construct the boundary of
   the natural market. (Or as I put it, the state has to manage the
   referents in an economy of signifiers and signifeds).  The state also
   defends property rights (and I would add, creates new forms of private
   property out of information) The state maintains price stability
   (meaning it keeps money expensive, tilting the playing field toward
   that part of the vectoral class that is in finance). The state also
   kills its opponents and jails its `problem' populations.

   S+W are interested in modeling how neoliberalism worked in order to
   reverse engineer it for a counter-hegemonic strategy for a new social
   democracy. Like Philip Mirowski, they pay attention to the way the
   Mont Pelerin Society (MPS) worked as a closed intellectual network. Its
   goal was to change common sense, and produce a neoliberal utopia. In
   Gramscian terms, it was a long-run "war of position." (55) Its focus
   was changing elite opinion. "Capitalists did not initially see
   neoliberalism as being in their interests." (55) Actually, that is
   because it isn't. In my view it was not until the rise of the vectoral
   class that neoliberalism made sense as an ideology in place of Keynsian
   demand-management.

   Mont Pelerin started a flexible and plural approach to
   ideology-construction, able to negotiate with non-friends and
   non-enemies. The main goal was a view of the state whose legitimacy
   came no longer from law but from economic management. It was a "long
   term redefinition of the possible." (59) Both academics and journalists
   played complementary roles. "The inculcation of neoliberalism involved
   a full-spectrum project of constructing a hegemonic worldview.

   A new common sense was built that came to co-opt and eventually
   dominate the terminology of `modernity' and `freedom.'" (63) Hereafter
   it will be markets that are free, not people. What began as a project
   of changing elite opinion eventually sunk fairly deep roots and became
   a structure of feeling. In Pasolini's terms, it was about the
   generalization to all classes of a petit-bourgeois worldview - not so
   much neoliberal as what he would call neo-fascist.

   Against all this, S+W want to take back the future. After Lyotard and
   Azuma, not to mention what we now know of the Anthropocene, one has
   to wonder if there's much of one to take back. I attempted a
   left-futurist narrative in A Hacker Manifesto (2004), but by Gamer
   Theory (2007) it seemed to me that the proliferation of the vector had
   reached a point of planetary enclosure. The planet itself has become
   abstract, at least in terms of how it can be perceived and understood
   within the games of commodified information.

   There's sometimes a slippage between the materiality of this
   abstraction, which is the product of a particular global
   infrastructure, and the idea of a universalism. Certainly, neoliberal
   ideology presents itself as the universal discourse of this abstract
   space. S+W think it is time that universalism was obliged to struggle
   against another. It is time to revive a left-universalism, they argue,
   because "giving up on the category leaves us with nothing but a series
   of diverse particulars." (76)

   Their understanding of universals has some sophistication. Perhaps
   channeling Laclau they perceive a universal as an empty place
   impossible to definitively fill, but for which different universals
   contest. The current victor is what I would characterize as a kind of
   neo-fascism, or fascism privatized. There are only individuals who can
   exist only by exterminating each other's life chances, and sometimes
   even their lives.

   What makes it appealing is its cooptation of a series of
   counter-culture motifs about `freedom.' One can be free from the state,
   the family, the community, from obligation of any kind. Its a negative
   freedom, in which everyone, as Hito Steyerl would say, is a
   free-lancer. Against that, S+W advance the counter-universal of a
   synthetic freedom. Such negative freedoms mean nothing if one is also
   `free' of the material means of enacting them.

   Expanding synthetic freedom depends on science and technology. Or
   rather, I think we can see the sciences as answering in part to agendas
   set by the bleeding edge of commodification and military strategy, but
   which nevertheless opening up a possibility space in which other
   applications might be possible. Science includes an inhuman apparatus
   that reveals the nonhuman to that merely human it that demarcates, and
   reveals more than can be known in all philosophies.

   All the same, I think this kind of line now needs some qualification:
   "The full development of synthetic freedom therefore requires a
   reconfiguration of the material world in accordance with the drive to
   expand our capacities for action. It demands experimentation with
   collective and technological augmentation... the overall aim must... be
   picked out as an unrelenting project to unbind the necessities of this
   world and transform them into materials for the further construction of
   freedom." (82) There's a sort of blithe modernity in such statements
   that I find rather out of date. Hence I think one can only give a
   qualified assent to the demands on which S+W want to hoist the new
   international: the end of wage-labor, full automation and a universal
   basic income.

   As S+W are well aware, there's a sense in which work is already over.
   This is an era of jobless recoveries, precarity and `surplus'
   population. To misquote Oscar Wilde, the only thing worse than being
   exploited is not being exploited. In The Spectacle of
   Disintegration I gave examples from Brazil and Nigeria of
   populations whose life chances take place entirely outside of organized
   labor.

   The vectoral infrastructure enables the ruling class to hold the messy
   business of actually making things at arm's length, and force whole
   geographic territories to compete with each other for the honor of
   having its labor and nature exploited and appropriated. Even in places
   like China, there may now be instances of "premature
   deindustrialization" (97), where the jobs leave for Vietnam. Surplus
   population becomes a disciplinary tool with which to break labor, or to
   force it into accepting racially divided labor markets that can be
   pitted against each other.

   What results is sometimes something quite different to the organized
   politics of the labor movement. Rather, it's the disintegrating
   spectacle of riots, criminality, mass migrations. The other side of
   which is what David Harvey called accumulation by dispossession, the
   privatizing of the commons, whether of land, social reproduction or
   information.

   If there was a kind of work that expanded, its for what I called
   the hacker class, whose job it is to work over the information commons
   to find new information that can be commodified in the new private
   property regimes of so-called `intellectual property.' But even some of
   those jobs can now be automated. In any case, the hacker class finds
   itself atomized into competing individual units, what Steyerl calls
   a new kind of shock worker. "Workers who move symbols on a screen are
   as at risk as those moving good around a warehouse." (111)

   While part of what was labor becomes the hacker, quite another part is
   simply criminalized and incarcerated. A so-called surplus population is
   treated as the enemy within. And I would add: contra Foucault, this is
   not a Panoptic kind of power, based on enclosure, classification and
   the internalization of surveillance. It's the reverse. It is extensive,
   database-driven and based on the externalization of control.

   This is a situation in which a counter-hegemonic strategy has very weak
   levers of power. But still perhaps one could advance some non-reformist
   reforms, as S+W call them. These proposals do not break out of
   capitalism, but might at least break out of neoliberalism, and improve
   the bargaining power of popular forces.

   Perhaps there could be a post-work consensus, based on full automation,
   reducing the working week, and universal basic income. For a start:
   "the tendencies towards automation and the replacement of human labor
   should be enthusiastically accelerated..." (109) Here I would caution
   that the technologies on offer mostly weaken the potential power of
   human collectivity. The struggle of the hacker class for a free and
   open information infrastructure were either lost or coopted or blunted.

   What if the full automation of labor was raised as a political demand
   rather than an economic one? Combined with a universal basic income,
   that could be the basis of a post-work future. Perhaps start with the
   demand for a three-day weekend. A basic income would have to supplement
   the welfare state rather than replace it, as it does in certain right
   wing visions. And it would have to be enough to live on. It would have
   to make work optional and voluntary, rather than merely allow employers
   to lower wages.

   In this fashion, labor could be at least partially decommodified. It
   would also be a way of recognizing what is currently the unpaid labor
   of reproduction, affective labor and so on. It would make synthetic
   freedom a basic right, and break with the ideology of suffering and
   reward. It would "combat the centrality of work" (126) In place of a
   work ethic, perhaps we could think about what Pat Kane calls a play
   ethic.

   Could a post-work society and a post-carbon one be reimagined together,
   from the ground up? It's a bold idea, in need of more though,
   especially on the post-carbon side. The dream of abolishing labor might
   always have been tied to what Moore calls cheap nature. In any case,
   the great virtue of this book is to change the range of things that can
   be legitimately discussed.

   Late in the book S+W do get around to thinking about the materiality of
   infrastructure, and how as Pasolini noted long ago the languages we
   `speak' are not infrastructural rather than superstructural.
   "Technology and technological infrastructures...  pose both significant
   hurdles for overcoming the capitalist mode of production..." (136) Here
   we have to wonder, with Benjamin Bratton, whether this existing
   infrastructure can be used to build a qualitatively different one, or
   whether it is like Sartre's practico-inert, enforcing in its very
   form a kind of serial and passive relation to it.

   Well, there's nothing for it but to try. Its time to experiment with
   the affordances of tech, as Paul B Preciado suggests. Its time to
   remember that there were once other futures, as in Bogdanov,
   Constant and Kim Stanley Robinson. "The future has been canceled."
   (138) If one takes seriously the results coming out of earth sciences,
   some futures really are canceled for good. But given that we are now in
   a death match between the commodity form and its planetary support,
   still other futures are desperately needed.

   "Utopian thought recognizes the future as radically open." (139) But,
   actually, the future is not a tabula rasa to be colonized at will. That
   version of modernism is indeed dead. Nor do I think utopia as the
   "education of desire" can really be revived. (140) S+W are attracted to
   very speculative versions of the utopian. The practical utopias of the
   cyberpunk left of the 90s are ignored in favor of more `visionary'
   modes. But I think its time to reject this way of reading utopia that
   descends from Ernst Bloch. Utopias are radically pragmatic. Only a
   Charles Fourier would ask who is to take out the trash. Its time for a
   utopian realism.

   But I do agree that it was a bad idea to shut radical thought off from
   the techniques of the sciences and the quantifiable social sciences. We
   could really do with some sophisticated mathematical modeling both of
   existing natural-social processes as well as possible alternative ones.
   But these must now encompass the totality of social-natural metabolic
   processes and their rifts.

   S+W: "our current infrastructure tends to shape our societies into
   individualistic, carbon-based, competitive forms, regardless of what
   individuals or collectives may want." (145) The potential of science
   and technology is actually constrained rather than advanced by a
   commodity economy - and here our authors revive an argument made in the
   thirties by the original accelerationist JD Bernal and the `social
   relations of science' movement.

   But as Bernal became all too aware, state direction of tech development
   might create some breathing room from tech as a business, but the state
   has overwhelmingly steered tech towards military ends. I was happy to
   see S+W refer to the worker-based Lucas Plan which directly addressed
   the question of redirecting engineering and labor together to design
   and manufacturing for social ends. This radical engineering tradition,
   with its roots in the social relations of science movement, could
   really do with a revival.

   But I think that in the Anthropocene this will be a rather more sober
   exercise. The Spinozist delirium of "we know not what a socio-technical
   body can do" - belongs now to the past. (152) It is going to take some
   more thought to knit together perspectives that take seriously the real
   infrastructural transformations in the forces of production and the
   more strictly superstructural view of politics that descends from
   Althusser to Laclau and Mouffe. Politics turns out to be not so
   `relatively autonomous' after all. A rather more vulgar Marxism may
   now be timely.

   It is encouraging to see S+W take steps in that direction. But there's
   more to be done. I think they correctly identify one site of both
   thought and experiment, which is to try to think beyond folk politics
   to a renewal of a kind of populism of the left. What might distinguish
   the latter is a will to take up a broad counter-hegemonic struggle no
   longer restricted to the superstructural space of the political and the
   ideological.

   As Timothy Mitchell shows in Carbon Democracy, (and as S+W
   acknowledge) there are no longer easily identifiable choke points in
   the infrastructure of production at which labor can gain leverage. We
   are rather more in a world captured by Tiziana Terranova's image of an
   information feedback loop, with multiple sites of cooption and
   contestation, many of a very weak kind.

   S+W rightly warn of the dangers of the messianic as solution to all our
   problems: "The event (as revolutionary rupture) becomes an expression
   of the desire for novelty without responsibility. The messianic event
   promises to shatter our stagnant world and bring us to a new stage of
   history, conveniently voided of the difficult work that is politics."
   (177) The magic thinking of the `event' has to be put aside.

   What I find less congenial is the Promethean mania for the overcoming
   of limits, as if it were a foregone conclusion that all limits are
   illusory. S+W: "But the ultimate trajectory of universal emancipation
   is towards overcoming physical, biological, political and economic
   constraints. This ambition to undo constraints is one that, taken to
   its limits, leads inexorably towards grand and speculative frontiers."
   (178) This seems to me not to accord with the realities of modern
   science, but rather to be a residue of religious thinking, a kind of
   will-to-Godhead. Its really just another version of the messianic
   impulse that S+W rightly see as belonging to the past.

   I find that S+W do grasp the significance of treating commodification
   as a fetter on genuine development of new science and technology. This
   was the tension I identified in A Hacker Manifesto as a new kind of
   class tension. It isn't just labor that is reified in the form of the
   commodity, the hack is also reified in the form of intellectual
   property. We are encouraged to think that `innovation' arises only in
   the brains of the Steve Jobs of the world, as if there weren't
   thousands of engineers and designers and others of the hacker class who
   invent the form, and many more workers who actually make the thing.

   As in Karatani, there's a suggestion here to hold the ruling class
   to account for their failure to realize the full potential for human
   development, because they have made human capacity a means and not an
   ends. Inventing the Future does valuable work in lifting our gaze from
   our navels towards the horizon, even if I don't think that horizon is
   as open as they think it is. Rather than accelerate the existing
   social-technical machine, we may have to extrapolate from what we
   know of all forms of organization, including biological ones, to find
   forms that might hold together in the ensuing era of radical
   instability.
   On Fri, Nov 6, 2015 at 11:27 PM, Orsan <orsan1234 {AT} gmail.com> wrote:

   Wark's take on the book

Inventing the Future

   The key lesson of Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams' Inventing the
   Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work (Verso, 2015) is summed
   up in an epigram from Jodi Dean: "Goldman Sachs doesn't care if you
   raise chickens." (26) This new book encouragse us to think big, to
   organize around ideas that scale. As such its useful corrective to
   those flavors of political thought and action that want to privilege
   the local and the ethical.

   "The ambition here is to take the future back from capitalism." (127)
   Which would be all well and good if there still was a future. The
   encounter that never arrives in Srnicek and Williams (hereafter S+W) is
   with, say, the work of John Bellamy Foster or Jason Moore,
   which would seriously question whether one can still think of a social
   or political future without thinking about the Anthropocene. The
   accumulated molecular waste products of modernity now cycle through the
   whole earth system, undermining its relative stability. The gritty
   facticity of the world rather puts a damper on dreaming of accelerating
   through the rough on into the smooth.
   http://www.publicseminar.org/2015/10/inventing-the-future/
   Sent from my iPad

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   Itinerary of a Long-Distance Internationalist.
   http://www.into-ebooks.com/book/from_coldwar_communism
   _to_the_global_emancipatory_movement/ (Free). 2. 2014. Interface
   Journal Special (Co-Editor), December 2014. 'Social Movement
   Internationalisms'. (Free).3. 2014. with Laurence Cox, `Movement
   Internationalism/s', Interface: a Journal for and about Social
   Movements. (Editorial), Vol. 6 (2), pp. 1-12. 4. 2014. `The
   International Labour Movement in, Against and Beyond, the Globalized
   and Informatized Cage of Capitalism and Bureaucracy. (Interview).
   Interface: a Journal for and about Social Movements. Vol. 6 (2), pp.
   35-58. 5. 2014. 'The Networked Internationalism of Labour's Others', in
   Jai Sen (ed), Peter Waterman (co-ed), The Movement of Movements:
   Struggles for Other Worlds  (Part I). (10 Euros). 6. 2015. Waterman,
   Peter. `Beyond Labourism, Development and Decent Work'. Global
   Labour Journal, 2015, 6(2), pp. 246-50.
   More publications, click [////]



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