Thursday, February 18, 2010

Friday - 11am Section - Modes of Control Are Not Black and White

In the text “Postscript on the Societies of Control,” Gilles Deleuze presents an interesting analysis of how modes of control over a society have evolved over time. Although interesting, I didn’t agree with some of the distinctions between disciplinary societies and societies of control. For example, on page five, it says “In the disciplinary societies, one was always starting again, while in the societies of control one is never finished with anything.” It then elaborates by talking about the “apparent acquittal of the disciplinary societies and the limitless postponements of the societies of control.” It’s an interesting distinction because I can understand the argument that a technological, multi-tasking, over-stimulated, corporate society operates in a way that is constantly ongoing and evolving. However, on a practical, personal level, I’m not entirely convinced that the distinction between today’s society and days of old is so black and white. There is still a clear difference between the educational system and corporation. In other words, the text describes my transition between the two institutions as both fluid and metastable whereas for me it’s entirely distinct.

Similarly, on page six, I understand what Deleuze is saying about the difference between the factory and the corporation, but I also disagree. In the middle of the page, he explains that “capitalism is no longer involved in production” because it relegates it to the Third World and that it there is a difference between “capitalism for production” and “capitalism for the product.” There’s a direct implication here that the Third World is not capitalistic and if I take the argument further, that the Third World is still a disciplinary society. However, we live in global economy and (to a much lesser extent) the Third World participates in the technological era. Furthermore, I don’t like the thought of “factories giving way to the corporation” because corporations need factories to produce their products. Production has always been about the product and by that token, so has capitalism. Like I said, it’s an interesting analysis, but it is fundamentally not valid for me.

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