13 January 2012

Seduction of the Cyber Zombies

For the leftwing Stirnerites the favored tactic was always the General Strike (the Sorelian myth). In response to Global Capital we need a new version of this myth that can include syndicalist structures but not be limited by them. The old enemy of the anarchists was always the State. We still have the State to worry about (police in the universal Mall), but clearly the real enemies are the zaibatsus and banks. (The biggest mistake in revolutionary history was the failure to seize the Bank in Paris, 1871.) In the very near future there is going to be "war" against the WTO/IMF/GATT structure of Global Capital --- a war of sheer desperation, waged by a worldfull of individuals and organic groups against corporations and "the money power" (i.e. money itself). Hopefully a peaceful war, like a big General Strike --- but realistically one should prepare for the worst. And what we need to know is, what can the InterNet do for us?

Obviously a good revolt needs good communication systems. Right now however I'd prefer to transmit my conspiratorial secrets (if I had any) through the Post Office rather that the Net. A really successful conspiracy leaves no paper trail, like the Libyan Revolution of 1969 (but then, phone-tapping was still fairly primitive then). Moreover, how could we be sure that what we saw on the Net was information and not disinformation? Especially if our organization existed only on the Net? Speaking as a Stirnerite, I don't want to banish spooks from my head only to find them again on my screen. Virtual street-fighter, virtual ruins. Sounds like a losing proposition.

Most disturbing for us would be the "gnostic" quality of the Net, its tendency toward exclusion of the body, its promise of technological transcendence of the flesh. Even if some people have "met through the Net", the general movement is toward atomization---"slumped alone in front of the screen". The "movement" today pays too much attention to media in general because power has virtually eluded us---and within the speculum of the Net its reflection mocks us. Net as substitute for conviviality and communicativeness. Net as bad religion. Part of the media-trance. The commodification of difference.

No comments: