lunedì 15 settembre 2014

Obsolete Capitalism: Disintermediation of the zoon politikon (Pt. XV - The Birth of Digital Populism)

Disintermediation of the zoon politikon

To disintermediate the political animal –which represents the minimum unit and conscious singularity in politics - is not exactly the same as to disintermediate single sound units in the music industry. All the democratic mechanisms that have been developing for the zoon politikon in the last 2500 years - from Cleisthenes’ Boule to the Roman Senate, to the British House of Commons and the French Assemblée nationale - acted as functional, and often radical, reforms of the political representation of their subjects;, thus they conformed to the social composition of their times. Those agents that act within the current representative systems - namely the political parties- are the expression of mediated territorial and social interests. Unfortunately, the general decay of Nations under the expansion of the global financial-economic machine has deprived of credibility the legislative and representative bodies, and also those organizations operating in these contexts; organised forces from other segments of society are strengthening instead. The widely addressed idea of reducing the costs of politics was born from such West weakness. But within the economic downsizing of the political-institutional subjects, another factor is at work with its own goal: the sovereignty of the world market, which is enacted by the financial-economic machine and is achievable through the de-regulation of economic flows and their separation from the interest of corporate nations. This factor allows for the highest level of disintermediation, since it eliminates those intermediate administrational and representative bodies that are perceived as superfluous. If a total disintermediation has been pursued by the economic and financial capitalism for decades and has become chronic, how can digital populism contribute to it? In Its authoritarian and fascist guise, traditional populism matched the criteria of disintermediation, which were imposed at the macro level by twentieth-century industrial capitalism: in this case the figure of the dictator directly approached his people, thus avoiding social, political and institutional mediations. What new figures of power can digital populism point to at the dawn of the Petabyte Age? Mr. Casaleggio suggests two answers: direct e-democracy and network-inspired self-creating political movement. (...)

Painting: Stelios Faitakis

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