Messages are contributions to circulating content, not actions to elicit responses. The exchange value of messages overtakes their use value.
Uncoupled from contexts of action and application the message is simply part of a circulating data stream which allows for no pause or reflection.
The value of a particular contribution is also in inverse proportion to the openness, inclusiveness or extent of an excess of sources.
As the number of opinions or comments increases, there’s increasingly less impact that any one participant might make.
Communication starts to produce its own negation as more shock, spectacle and celebrity appeal takes over.
We act as if we don’t know our specific contributions circulate in a rapidly moving and changing flow of content without meaning.
We are led to believe that web democracy is the promised future we’ve been waiting for. The belief is the ideology of communicative capitalism.
When everyone’s shouting no one can be heard. Our status updates are indiscriminately liked. Soon we’ll find it’s not enough. Then what?
Potential delinquents can rest assured that as long as they keep quiet they will in most cases be allowed to survive. Capitalism has become sufficiently concentrated and interlinked with the state to distribute ‘welfare’ to the poorest.
What we’re really demanding is not to survive but to live. We have nothing of our own. Our status comes from rebellion against the entrenched capitalist system.
We laugh at the use of the word democracy in western cultures. This is a false talisman. Only fifty per cent of a population bothers to vote, the majority of whom are bourgeois.
Their rule is described as ‘popular government’ or ‘democracy’. An élite skillfully uses propaganda and symbols to manufacture consent.
Capitalist countries have no ‘democracy in general’. All that exists is bourgeois democracy. The most democratic bourgeois society is no more than a machine for the suppression of the working class by the bourgeoisie.
Bourgeois democracy is a cover for brutal exploitation and oppression, a facade to conceal the dictatorship of the bourgeois ruling class.
The rabble are anger and rioting. We have a hatred of work and deep resentment towards the privileged.
We see ourselves as the exploited layer of society. We rebel against the ‘civility’ of bourgeois culture. We hate the social ideology that keeps us in our place.
What ARM demands is freedom from alienation. This means the total subversion of society. It’s increasingly evident that delinquents are forced to use insurrection as a means to the end.
Adapted by Ed Strong from The Situationist International Anthology (Revised and Expanded Edition, 2006). No copyright.