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March 15, 2011


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He makes you sound like an authoritarian dictator with no self awareness or sense of irony. He has almost no understanding of your project and thinks it is somehow contradictory for you to be both critical of social media and advocate for cyber attacks. While I can see someone reasonable disagree with your view it doesn't seem this person has taken the time to understand what that view is.


You're quite right Alain, I am not that familiar with Jodi's work, having only read the chapter on technology of her book on Communicative Capitalism for the seminar before the lecture, as requested we do. I think I make that clear, and it's my impressions of the seminar and lecture that I bring out, not a review of her work as a whole. I do intend to review both the Communicative Capitalism book and her book on Blogging, to give the ideas as a whole a fuller airing and assessment.

In the seminar and lecture I don't think people should hold back from commenting or reflecting on what's being said until they go away and read the speakers books fully. Better to read beforehand, but good to discuss what's said when it's said and also reflect in depth later on. And who's to say whether someoneone understands a speaker even when they've read all their work unless they air their thoughts and assessment?

It's certainly the case that someone can hold a view that's reflective of their disappointment and frustration with left wing politics and the hope they posited in internet technology, alongside looking for anti-democratic quick fix hacking to stir the masses into taking control. From what I heard and have read so far, I think Jodi holds these views quite consistently, very reminiscent of the politics of the old left in the UK in the 1980's and 1990's as it gave up on the working class as a political force.

I should get to review Jodi's books in a few weeks and will post the reviews on the Manchester Salon website.


Thank you for the response Simon. And you have every right to react to what you hear in a lecture - but I don't think your response ultimately does justice to the body of work in question.

Having said that, in the end, you are correct in your assertion that Jodi is a critic of democracy. Though she can speak for herself, what I take away from her work is that democracy has become part of the problem, that democratic tools of communication are largely used to keep us occupied and distracted. And she rightly points out that the masses are the content providers by which social media makes money.

Jodi Dean

A misleading aspect of the review--I didn't encourage people to buy books and offer to sign them. My host, who set up the lecture, did this. Additionally, my response regarding being just one media content was not disingenuous--it was consistent with my overall discussion, which also emphasized the communicative equivalent of any utterance and the decline of symbolic efficiency. That there are lectures, that there are You Tube videos, that there are multiple books and articles and blog posts written does not conflict with the idea that in specific cases one reads a book, one hears a lecture, one listens to a musician. Additionally, I don't know why in the world you would associate a lecture with a therapy circle.

Alain--another thing, Simon is actually pretty neoliberal and libertarian. He thinks that the "left" someone made a mistake in the late 60s in believing that state regulations. This is an odd belief, in my view, because historically the left has favored taking over and using the state.


Thanks Jodi. I think your challenge to democracy as the political form of neoliberal capital will be rejected by neoliberals because they do not see this as a problem - in fact they view it is a positive feature of the current system.

I need to read your paper (I just printed it out) because I would like to see what Simon is specifically responding to.

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