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The anastrophe called Marx

Had a great and long conversation with Phil about the childhood of the machines. The childhood I have in mind is one where kids are part of a unit of production, we entrust them with responsibility according to their capacity. Maybe we don’t need children to mix eggs in the kitchen anymore because we have machines – the childhood of the machines have already brought about some Edenism in human childhood: play, play, play, this is what children are here for. In that context, we can see how children are trained not as the main objective, but as side effect of having them inside the production chain. The same with machines. We are in the cosmic age where the species is being reproduced and we put most of our collective effort into that. That image of our cosmopolitic moment brings together the struggle for Edenism – the idea that we have always pursued a life without effort – and the idea that the future of humanity is to become guards of machine process they don’t understand, humans will assume responsibility and be liable and paid for it. In the late adolescence of the machines, we will have them as trainees, competent ones but still under supervision. This will be like having supervised trainees that we are responsible but have some independence, or like with trainees or with members of a crew of folks with specialities we don’t quite master etc. Later, we will go to Edenist retirement homes. Marxism was perhaps a form of Edenism: get production into a stage where it involves no effort. We then moved to Marx, as it happens. what exactly is the bet that the forces of production will disrupt the social (and cosmic) relations of production? My bet is that these relations of production are like restricted economies in the Bataille's sense: ways of dealing with excess. What is the anastrophe? Maybe it is that the accummulation economy will just go, maybe when we become cyborgs the issues of property will just stop making sense and be removed sooner (by revolution) or later (by obsolescence). Maybe security, something property requires, is going to become too expensive, and capital (or production) will find a cheaper way to reproduce itself. (MS stopped fighting pirate versions of Windows, better to distribute and make it abundant than to enforce scarcity.) Maybe the soviet scheme, after all, was to find a way to reproduce capital in a way that could be faster than capitalism – accummulation was certainly greater and faster, as Bataille himself suggests. It will come to a point where reterritorialization will be too expensive – the force of production that melts things will be stronger than the pull towards a scheme of distribution or registration. Then production will maybe find a different way to reproduce itself; if collective distribution becomes cheap, and it tends to be automated só that freecycle, for example, becomes something that requires no human effort, then stores and market will become a too expensive form of distribution. Marxism is the believe that production is the guiding force in history, so that machines could usher in a biological moment in the history of cybernetics and something other than the current restricted economies will be possible.

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