Tag Archives: Capitalism

THE MATERIAL SIDE OF THE IMMATERIAL. Facebook’s true nature

Lamberto Tassinari

Face and Book. Two powerful, divine words. The human Face, what is more meaningful, deep and troubling than our “face”?

The Book, what’s more essential to us than the concentrate of all human knowledge?

Antonin Artaud, the visionary, wrote

 (…) le visage humain n’a pas encore trouvé sa face (…) la face humaine telle qu’elle est se cherche encore avec deux yeux, un nez, une bouche, / et les deux cavités auricuaires qui répondent aux trous des orbites comme les quatre ouvertures du caveau de la prochaine mort. / Le visage humain porte en effet une espèce de mort perpétuelle sur son visage / dont c’est au peintre justement à le sauver / en lui rendant ses propres traits…

Sacred face though, it is the mirror on which the invisible inside sends signs to the eyes and to the expressive little wrinkles on the side of your mouth. Our face has been kidnapped by the market and, together with the book, became the appealing symbol, the web in which two billion souls got entangled. Instant communication and exposure of the self were the dreamlike promises.

 

Everyone could finally tell their stories, show their faces and have, in exchange, multitudinous stories and faces from the wide world. A nightmare is a dream turned awry and that is what happened: the pure immaterial creation gave birth to the usual, heavy, mercantile output. As everything in our capitalistic civilization is driven by profit, Facebook’s ugly face was absolutely predictable.  Guy Debord verily asserted in 1967 «Economy transforms the world, but it only transforms it in the world of economy”. He perfectly described the condition of our extreme alienation in which we are living « Le spectacle n’est pas un ensemble d’images, mais un rapport social entre des personnes, médiatisé par des images.». Which is the portrait of Facebook’s actual functioning. The new financial, immaterial capitalism extended its dominion at the planetary level with means fifty years ago still unknown to Debord but that he could perfectly foresee : « Le spectacle est le capital à un tel degré d’accumulation qu’il devient image », prophetically announcing Facebook’s empire:« Le spectacle est le moment où la marchandise est parvenue à l’occupation totale de la vie sociale. » Merchandise has filled our entire existence: our inner selves confessed everything – desires and data – to Facebook which treated all of this, rightly, as goods.

We are in such a dystopian condition that utopia becomes, once again, the only option. Utopian democracy which will be reality only when the economy would have lost its monetary meaning and all its primitive components – work, value, merchandise, money – will vanish with all the monsters born within the world of economy.