Commentary on Political Economy

Saturday 22 April 2017

The Insanity of Global Capital's "Artificial Intelligence"

Whenever the bourgeoisie is in trouble - and it most certainly is right now - it turns to technocratic myths as an ideological ploy to obstruct the emancipatory drive of living labour that have rendered necessary the very "technological progress" that the bourgeoisie prides itself of having engendered. It's a curious fact: on one hand, the bourgeoisie champions the role of "the entrepreneur" (from Steve Jobs to, say, Zuckerberg or Musk), as the organic fruit of its mode of production; but at the same time the bourgeoisie has to present this entrepreneurial "disruption" as the inflexible by-product of "Science and Technology" - as something inevitable and independent of political control - as a Fate that we must not just passively suffer but enthusiastically embrace!

Except that what "entrepreneurial disruption" reveals is not the "inevitable march of Progress" but rather the tremendous upheaval that the bourgeoisie imposes on all human society in its desperate attempt to counter and control undemocratically "innovations" that are induced by the irrepressible antagonism of living labour against the command of dead labour - which is what capitalism is in essence! The latest fad in this insane attempt to present the insanity of technocratic control as the very essence of "democracy" or "consumer choice" - this latest fad is called "Artificial Intelligence" - which is presented as the solution to all the world's evils - political and environmental. Except that (once again, "except that") in the meantime, far from resolving the world's problems, challenges and evils, "artificial intelligence" is pushing us ever faster - in geopolitical and environmental terms - very close to the abyss. The cries of despair, the sense of total loss of control the world over are simply too loud, too insistent and immediate for even the most isolated and insensitive humans to fail to detect. Go anywhere in Asia, climb the highest mountains in the Himalayas, in Tibet; visit the remotest islands in the Pacific or Indian Oceans; traverse the most intractable desert routes in the Sahara and the Gobi - everywhere you will find that the pain and conflict imposed by global capital - from overpopulation and pollution and exploitation - is blatantly evident to all earthly denizens, even the most seemingly "uninformed".

That is why the very first thing we have to do when we think of a Bill Gates or a Steve Jobs or indeed an Elon Musk, not to mention Mark "Sugar-Mountain" Sucker-berg, is to think that these are the mere figureheads of an increasingly colossally desperate attempt on the part of the bourgeoisie to render its dominion over the Earth and its denizens utterly total and uncontrasted - even to the point of projecting that domination internally (virtual reality) and externally (space travel). At the very moment, the instant in which the bourgeoisie dreams of total domination of social and even physical reality through its vainglorious pursuit of "artificial intelligence", what stares us in the face instead is the astronomical "in-intelligence", the crass and rabid stupidity of a socio-economic class that is fast losing control of just about anything of importance happening on this planet! The Earth is burning, vast areas of the globe are under the control of Mafias and pirates and "terrorists" and "failed states" - and yet the bourgeoisie continues to present its socio-economic system - capitalism - as the very pinnacle of human rationality! Just read or watch anything at all in the media, "social" or conventional - or try to decipher the advertising bombardment to which it subjects us, to understand the absurd degree of nonchalant lying to which the bourgeoisie resorts to mask the impending catastrophe the Earth faces - political as well as environmental.

In an effort to understand these developments, to combat the "deification" of destructive an suicidal political practices by the bourgeoisie, we will continue presently with our study of Schumpeter's work.

No comments:

Post a Comment