"Techno-Feudalism"

constant escape

winter withered, warm
Just had a thought about the development of capitalism, and how the stage we are entering is actually quite justifiably called "techno-fuedalism" by Yanis Varoufakis. I put the title in quotes because its still tentative for me, not yet settled.

The basic picture: from the highest order perspective, which more or less correlated to the most materially influential perspective, more than 99% of humans will primarily serve the function of generating data to fuel the megacorporations, eventually serving the megacorporations' proprietary capitalist AI systems.

This could be it. This could be an effective predictive model of post-capitalism.

Traditional capitalism will still be in effect, but just within the brackets of this higher order phase. Nested phases, unfolding in parallel. So that means that the arrangement of production intrinsic to and definitive of capitalism can remain intact indefinitely - while upon its shoulders the "techno-feudalist" phase unfolds.

Not sure if Varoufakis had any of this in mind. Doesn;t strike me as a gnostic type, but hey maybe I'm just not picking up on it. Regardless, I think "techno-feudalism" is an effective name. Digi-feudalism, data feudalism, etc.

You can also consider it as hypercapitalism, but all thats really saying is that it is excessive compared to the standards of capitalism - and by assuming such standards, we are assuming a position still within the old phase.

To what extent a meaningful life is possible within this arrangement is unclear to me. Well actually I know it'll be possible, I just don't know how hard the system will make it for you.

I still won't rule out a possible upcoming golden age of escapist technology and content, increasingly immersive media, media becoming reality and vice versa, as if they are leaning into an embrace. I mean some of the leading FPS games are involving more and more romantic elements. I'm a lesbian in Cyberpunk 2077, but thats a different talk. In any case, undoubtedly some rich data to get from these consumer experiences.

When the flood of fanaticism hits, hopefully I'll have my ark ready.
 

constant escape

winter withered, warm
Left accelerationism is to the proper marxist approach what a kneejerk is to a surgically precise motor movement.

edit: a dullness sharpened to a fineness by way of iterative feedback and reorientation.
 
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constant escape

winter withered, warm
What direction do we take it? Here: we shouldn;t hasten capitalism to destroy it, we should use its own momentum to fuel the project of more free time for more people, complemented by the project of inspiring people to libidinize productive and socially beneficial activities. One picture of utopia involves each human having free time to passionately advance the species in some singular way.

In that sense, in terms of goals, the left accelerationism of Srnicek/Williams/Hester/etc seems to be in alignment. Don't think they take any gnostic approaches though.

edit: and the kneejerk metaphor was made with these folks in mind, which isn;t a jab at them. The stumble informs and enables the walk.
 
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constant escape

winter withered, warm
On an economic note: could the sheer, exponential difference between the uberwealthy and the average incomes actually enabled the uberwealthy to employ the 99%? Perhaps as a strategy of subsuming their whole life in exchange for revenue security? Like is it economically feasible that a few, maybe even one, megacorporations can employ the vast majority of working humans? And that this megacorporation would be a de facto global government?
 

constant escape

winter withered, warm
Could that be the imminent convergence of trends? Could it be that this techno-feudalism only needs to rely on capitalism until the point when production is completely automated and a single megacorporation can deliver material security for the 99%?

We've already talked about how the uberwealthy are effectively beyond the economy and therefore beyond the economic reality of even relatively privileged human beings. That the economy is suspended within a sort of blast chamber , and that economic activity is represented by models that have effectively attained autonomy, virtual independance from the economy? This is actually another point made by Varoufakis, although I forget the details.

Something about how a major economic crash was significantly deviated from by some stock market, indicating the independence of the latter from the former.
 

constant escape

winter withered, warm
They seem to be the trendsetters for the economic implementation of the very technology that could enable these starkly different economic realities. At the very least they are the experimenters who will point the way, if not lead the way.

But seriously what is going through the minds of these top executives, both private and governmental? Do they think of themselves as high order operators of a global system of systems? Or are they just shooting for some stars, unconcerned with the need to optimize such systems? I've already expressed my doubts regarding their psychic capacities.
 

constant escape

winter withered, warm
Anyone know about their special economic zones? I believe @beiser said it was a "plane-to-dot" or "plane-to-point" straegy, which I understand as a stategy of differentiated feedback, weighing the feedback of certain zones more heavily if they perform better according to established metrics. Like an economic speciation process within an evolution. Instead of organic systems evolving, its economic systems.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
One of the things people mean when they talk about the coming feudalism is the end of ownership. Moving to the substitution rent model of Spotify Microsoft Netflix etc.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
using the virus to destroy small business is another nudge towards feudalism. As you say it's about total dependence on the lords of the manor.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
Work for the lords of the manor earn credit tokens which you can spend with the lords of the manor and no credit token ever escapes this loop. It's sealed. Everything they give out they get back.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
Presumably they will take your daughters for the harem and your sons for wars. Of course if you're a midget I guess you will dance in court, perform pratfalls etc
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
The feudalism 'deal' is I take your land, you work and give everything to me, including your sons and daughters if I want them, until the day you die and in exchange I will grant you the means for a subsistence existence and military protection.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
One of the things people mean when they talk about the coming feudalism is the end of ownership. Moving to the substitution rent model of Spotify Microsoft Netflix etc.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
Also not sure what role is reserved for China in all this.
China are aiming or say they are aiming for full communism by 2050 and they're going to use AI to do it and become the world leaders of AI. They'll have their own wintermute by 2030.

One thing I find quite interesting is that people like HMG see techno-feudalism on the horizon and call it communism.
 
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