“In twenty-first century, whoever controls the screen controls consciousness, information and thought. The screen is a mirror of your mind, get it? If you are passively watching screens, you are getting programed. If you are editing you own screen, you are in control of you mind. George Orwell had it wrong. He was too optimistic. He wrote in 1984 that Big Brother would watch us from screens on the walls of our living rooms or bedrooms. But that is nothing. You could always duck out of sight. The current horror is that Americans voluntarily stick their amoeboid faces toward the screen six or seven hours a day and suck up information that Big Brother is putting there. Here is the key to our future: We can and will control our own screens. We are designing software that will empower you to produce and direct your own mind movies, your own prime-time shows.” Timothy Leary – 1987 Rolling Stone Magazine
Timothy Leary and George Orwell got it wrong, your own screen is your means of production in the market competition. The diffuse spectacle gets produced in an integrated mode (Debord). Work expands into free time (Adorno). A podcast economically is not a primetime show, because it’s tendency is superflous, hobby work. States will soon have to provide a basic income for the superflous people out of work, resulting in the eternalization of the poverty of the precarious proletariate. This is the real meaning of Big Brother, not a policy-maker, but state as a father figure that cares for you. You don’t get fed with information, you get fed with the self-reflection of today’s citizenship, with the ideology of the republic, with the consciousness of the free market. The tendency of this ideology being produced as media products by all, does not automatically question the hegemony of power. By reformulating the analysis of state and power to seemingly concrete entities little “Big Brother” in the sense of central authorities that need to be attacked, the perspective of using the means of production for subverting the mode of production got hurt. In the field of ideology it’s not the people against The Man today, it’s the people against themselves, the praxis of future politics will have to evolve from a process of critique. Participation is an empty phrase, as long as markets and thus the dogma of profitability are used to regulate it.
some thoughts 4 years after this text
since fancypunk told me how well received our blog is in greece at the moment i thought i will share more text again here.