GILLES DELEUZE ‘POSTSCRIPT ON SOCIETIES OF CONTROL’ 06102011

October 6, 2011


Deleuze is discussing the shift from disciplinary to control societies. In disciplinary societies, there is a constant movement through major sites of confinement each one with its own laws, the family, the school, the barracks and the factory to name some. These sites are breaking down and are at a terminal decline. For instance, the education minister has announced refinements in the system.

From a more discrete consumption of energy during the disciplinary age we are exposed to a continuous range of products never ending at the current control era. Our environment has become fast passed, characterized by the floating exchange rates. The controlled society has not only made frontiers vanish but has maintained the extreme poverty ratio. Opposed to the disciplinary man, the fashionable becomes dominant and the sense of balance and harmony with nature is blurred, as an attitude of unconscious and perpetual consumption is adopted. Capitalism is directed towards production, sales and markets. The equilibrium maintained within the factories between highest production and lowest wages has been taken over by businesses which operate in a more transparent manner. As described by Deleuze, ‘a snake’s coils are even more intricate that a mole’s burrow’ (Deleuze, 1995: p. 182), which precisely depicts the complexity of the control society opposed to the disciplinary world.

The new age is highly digitalized and virtual distorting the previous understanding of individuality and signature. However, even though sophisticated technology is utilized as an integral component of this time, such as computers and information technology, yet it has to defend itself against its emergent sophisticated enemies, such as piracy and viral contamination.

The shift does not suggest a comparative analysis of the systems’ differences but rather an investigation of the way they free and enslave us. Therefore, it is a matter of discovering new ways of fighting against the new establishment.

 

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Gilles Deleuze, ‘Postscript on Societies of Control’ in Negotiations: 1972-1990, New York: Columbia University Press, 1995.

 

ANDREAS SIVITOS

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