Audio: Jodi Dean – The limits of the web in an age of communicative capitalism

In association with the Left Forum, Jodi Dean gave a talk on what she terms “communicative capitalism” and the Communist horizon in Connolly Books on Friday 28th June 2013..

Download the MP3 here (audio courtesy of Bit Thomp and hosted by Archive.org)

NOTE: A video of the talk is available here, but the MP3 has the full discussion afterwards as well)

CommHorizon

What has been the political impact of networked communications technologies? In the era of the occupy movement, the Arab Spring, Wikileaks and now the protests in Brazil and Turkey, many have celebrated the internet and social media’s central role in creating resistance movements. Jodi Dean, author of ‘The Communist Horizon’ and ‘Democracy and Other Neoliberal Fantasies’, argues that the web has formed part of a profoundly depoliticizing shift in capitalism, which has enabled the marriage of neoliberalism to the democratic values of participation and the reduction of politics to the registration of opinions and the transmission of feelings.

She insists that any reestablishment of a vital and purposeful left politics will require shedding the mantle of victimization, confronting the marriage of neoliberalism and democracy and mobilizing different terms to represent political strategies and goals. The left’s ability to develop and defend a collective vision of equality has been undermined by the ascendance of what she calls “communicative capitalism”. Although we have the means to express ideas and ask questions like never before, Dean asks why, in an age celebrated for its communications, there is no response.

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