EXTRACTS from the READER 01
Postcapital Archive 1989–2001
Daniel García Andújar describes the condition and the period after the “fall of the Berlin Wall” as an aspect of post-capitalism, rather than of post-communism. That condition, the period covered in Andújar’s project “Postcapital. Archive 1989-2001” also features the advance in information technologies and the phenomenon of the Internet.
When the students began ripping of the paving stones to throw them to the police during the events of May 1968 in Paris, they realized the yellow sand underneath the paving stones; the cobblestones. And when they also turned on the water pumps, the sand got wet. Yes, this was the “beach”. The beach of freedom, covered up by the pavement of the modern civilization of property and control. The “beach” was the “another world”, ”under the paving stones”.
In his 1998 essay “Cyber-communism”, Richard Barbrook stated “the Americans are superseding capitalism in cyberspace”. This was also the time Andújar describes as an aspect of post-capitalism. According to Barbrook, the Americans were having a different experience than that of capitalism in their daily Internet practice. This experience, which he relates to that of communism, was a consequence, an aspect of capitalism. According to Barbrook, it was capitalism itself which made the “digerati” a powerful class with high salaries, and it was the digerati who developed the information technologies, the Internet and the idea of free/open source software, as well as many other possibilities that enabled the individuals to “supersede” capitalism in “cyberspace”. Just like the scenario Karl Marx proposed for the end of the capitalism: “At a certain stage of development, the material productive forces of society come into conflict with the existing relations of production or — this merely expresses the same thing in legal terms — with the property relations within the framework of which they have operated hitherto. From forms of development of the productive forces these relations turn into their fetters. Then begins an era of social revolution. The changes in the economic foundation lead sooner or later to the transformation of the whole immense superstructure.”Read more →