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A Political Intervention in the Digital Realm

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Coded Cultures

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Capital produces and reproduces itself through economic, social and political disruptions and with the help of science and new media technology. As early as the end of the 1970s, it had already been claimed by Christopher Lasch that the notion of technological determinism, a kind of blind belief in technology, is at the base of all popular comprehensions of industrial and technological revolutions (cf. Lasch, 1979). Nevertheless, he argued, we have to be aware that new inventions, new processes and new applications of scientific discoveries do not put forward the changes in ameliorating production as well. Here, technology is used in the process of production to make it more efficient, rational, and to produce more surplus value, but not to improve our lives and labor conditions. And when these inventions are used in the process of reproduction, then it is for the sake of the new organization of labor processes (read: even bigger exploitation through rationalizations and efficiencies). In such a condition, technological changes are easily absorbed into the existing social capitalist structures. Therefore, according to Lasch, far from revolutionizing the society, technological inventions primarily reinforce the existing privileges and the appropriation of surplus value only by capital (cf. Gilly, 2009).

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Georg Russegger Matthias Tarasiewicz Michal Wlodkowski

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Gržinić, M. (2011). A Political Intervention in the Digital Realm. In: Russegger, G., Tarasiewicz, M., Wlodkowski, M. (eds) Coded Cultures. Edition Angewandte. Springer, Vienna.

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