Advertisement

Foundations of Science

, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 287–296 | Cite as

Social Autonomy and Heteronomy in the Age of ICT: The Digital Pharmakon and the (Dis)Empowerment of the General Intellect

  • Pieter LemmensEmail author
Article

Abstract

‘The art of living with ICTs (information and communication technologies)’ today not only means finding new ways to cope, interact and create new lifestyles on the basis of the new digital (network) technologies individually, as ‘consumer-citizens’. It also means inventing new modes of living, producing and, not in the least place, struggling collectively, as workers and producers. As the so-called digital revolution unfolds in the context of a neoliberal cognitive and consumerist capitalism, its ‘innovations’ are predominantly employed to modulate and control both production processes and consumer behavior in view of the overall goal of extracting surplus value. Today, the digital networks overwhelmingly destroy social autonomy, instead engendering increasing social heteronomy and proletarianization. Yet it is these very networks themselves, as technical pharmaka in the sense of French ‘technophilosopher’ Bernard Stiegler, that can be employed as no other to struggle against this tendency. This paper briefly explores this possibility by reflecting upon current diagnoses of our ‘technological situation’ by some exemplary post-operaist Marxists from a Stieglerian, pharmacological perspective.

Keywords

Digital technologies Cognitive capitalism Marxism Post-autonomism General intellect Stiegler 

References

  1. Berardi, F. (2009a). The soul at work. Los Angeles: Semiotext(e).Google Scholar
  2. Berardi, F. (2009b). Precarious rhapsody. Semiocapitalism and the pathologies of the post-alpha generation. London: Minor Compositions.Google Scholar
  3. Berardi, F. (2011). After the future. Edinburgh, Oakland: AK Press.Google Scholar
  4. Eisenstein, E. (2012). The printing revolution in early modern Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Feenberg, A. (2002). Transforming technology. A crticial theory revisited. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Goody, J. (1977). The domestication of the savage mind. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Gorz, A. (2010). The immaterial. Knowledge, value and capital. Calcutta: Seagull Books.Google Scholar
  8. Hardt, M., & Negri, A. (2000). Empire. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Hardt, M., & Negri, A. (2004). Multitude. War and democracy in the age of empire. New York: Penguin.Google Scholar
  10. Hardt, M., & Negri, A. (2009). Commonwealth. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Havelock, E. A. (1986). The muse learns to write: reflections on orality and literacy from antiquity to the present. New Haven, London: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Himanen, P. (2001). The hacker ethic and the spirit of the information age. London: Secker & Warburg.Google Scholar
  13. Lazzarato, M. (2002). Puissance de l’innovation. La psychologie économique de Gabriel Tardre contre l’économie politique. Paris: Les empêcheurs de tourner en rond.Google Scholar
  14. Lazzarato, M. (2014). Signs and machines. Capitalism and the production of subjectivity. Los Angeles: Semiotext(e).Google Scholar
  15. Marx, K. (1993). Grundrisse. London: Penguin.Google Scholar
  16. Moulier-Boutang, Y. (2011). Cognitive capitalism. Cambridge and Malden: Polity.Google Scholar
  17. Negri, A. (2008a). Reflections on empire. London: Polity.Google Scholar
  18. Negri, A. (2008b). The porcelain workshop. For a new grammar of politics. Los Angeles: Semiotext(e).Google Scholar
  19. Ong, W. (2012). Orality and literacy. The technologizing of the word. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  20. Stiegler, B. (2006). La télécratie contre le démocratie. Lettre ouvert aux représentants politiques. Paris: Flammation.Google Scholar
  21. Stiegler, B. (2010). For a new critique of political economy. Cambridge, Malden: Polity.Google Scholar
  22. Stiegler, B. (2013a). Pharmacologie du front national. Suivi du Vocabulaire d’Ars Industrialis par Victor Petit. Paris: Flammarion.Google Scholar
  23. Stiegler, B. (2013b). De la misère symbolique. Paris: Flammarion.Google Scholar
  24. Stiegler, B. (2013c). What makes life worth living. On pharmacology. Cambridge, Malden: Polity.Google Scholar
  25. Stiegler, B. (2014a). Symbolic misery. Volume 1. The hyperindustrial epoch. Cambridge, Malden: Polity.Google Scholar
  26. Stiegler, B. (2014b). Per Toeval Filosoferen. In Gesprek met Élie During. Zoetermeer: Klement.Google Scholar
  27. Wolf, M. (2010). Proust and the squid. The story and science of the reading brain. Thriplow, Cambridge: ICON Books.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2015

Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NijmegenNetherlands

Personalised recommendations