Title: INS Declaration on Digital Capitalism
Subtitle: The Spectre of the Digital
Type: Executive summary, pending release of transcript
Authorised: INS Department of Propaganda
Authorisation Code: AA050414
The INS Declaration on Digital Capitalism, presented by INS General Secretary Tom McCarthy and INS Chief Philosopher Simon Critchley (Düsseldorf, 4 April 2014), explains how the Smart New World promised by digital capitalism already haunts our past.
The spectre of the digital that threatens the integrity of the individual, that supposedly autonomous subject promoted by capitalism and programmed for consumption, which calls, in the name of humanism, for rescue — this spectre of the digital looms not on the horizons of the future but out of the past.
Necronauts have nothing to fear from the technology that threatens the coherence of the individual, for we are all, and have always been dividual, radically divided, inauthentic, networked and distributed.
Likewise, the unity of art that has become, since Aristotle, the idealised mirror of the bourgeois subject and object of his morbid self-love — this unity is to be smashed by every possible contrivance. The rise of the machines has, since 458 BC, disclosed what the INS calls the digital abject: formless, deathlike and inconsistent.
The INS reads Aeschylus backwards to discover the digital code that signals the origin of art and its continual splitting, fragmentation, repetition, looping and relay — the beacon that announces Agamemnon’s homecoming and the disintegration of his house, the loop pre-played in the captive Cassandra’s delirium.
As Hamlet shows, time is out of joint. That is why he has lost the plot, why his attention veers continually to the abject and his revolt is disgust. That is also why his play is a mourning farce and replica of a smart new world.
So we go on.