Monday, 19 September 2011

The Semiotic System of Capitalism (Fèlix Guattari) - Part 1

Below is an interesting extract from Fèlix Guattari's Molecular Revolution: Psychiatry and Politics (1972) on the systems and processes of capitalism:

What capitalizes capital is semiotic power. But not just any power - because in that case there would be no way of demarcating the earlier forms of exploitation - a semiotically de-territorialized power. Capitalism confers on certain social sub-systems a capacity for the selective control of society and production by means of a system of collective semiotization. What specifies it historically is that it only tries to control the different components which come together to maintain its processual character. Capitalism does not seek to exercise despotic power over all the wheels of society. It is even crucial to its survival that it manage to arrange marginal freedoms, relative spaces for creativity. What is of primary importance to it is the mastery of the semiotic wheels which are essential for the key productive arrangements and especially those which are involved in changing machine processes (the adjustments of machine power). Doubtless it is obliged by the force of history to interest itself in all domains of the social - public order, education, religion, the arts, etc. But, originally, this is not its problem; it is first of all continuously a mode of evaluation and technical means of control of power arrangements and their corresponding formulations. (page 275)

Click here for The Semiotic System of Capitalism (Fèlix Guattari) - Part 2

1 comment:

  1. It makes Capitalism sound like a starfish with severe signs of intention.