New Criticals

Killing Time, Pt. [4] - Communicative Machines and the Worker


It is one of the greatest merits of Ricardo that he saw machinery not only as a means of producing commodities, but also as a means of producing a ‘redundant population.'  – Karl Marx

The machine quickly becomes integrated with the worker. In order for a revolution in production and manufacture to occur, it was necessary for “a revolution in the general conditions of the social processes of production, i.e. in the means of communication and transport.” [1] In order for production and manufacture to be revolutionized, communication and transport require a revolution first; they are initially “unbearable fetters on large scale industry.” [2] Communication lags behind production and must be revolutionized more quickly to avoid becoming a major impediment to the development of industry. In a paradoxical turn, communication in the very late 20th century and early 21st was far ahead of the development of post-industrial capitalism, and capitalism itself, instead, was the fetter, lagging behind the advent of hyper-communicative technologies. Capitalism was left playing catch-up, and in many ways still has ground to cover in order to fully unlock the potential of computer technology and the internet. We are still unsure of what actually is valuable and how. Were any lessons learned from the dot com bubble? Twitter is worth alot, but doesn't post any profits.