Miners at the rock-face of the excavation of the Northwest Passage

Abstract based on *work in progress*

Imagining the real when the real is imaginary

The Internet in the Service of the Human Project

In this paper, we aim to conduct four inter-related activities:

  • Stimulate debate regarding how the Society of the Spectacle has benefited from the development of the internet (and other ‘new’ media) and how the Net offers the means to coordinate social contestation.

  • Make an initial assessment of the impact on the individual, both as ‘atom’ and as member of the social collectivity, of ‘new’ media, and the implications they have for fundamental phenomena such as identity.

  • Contextualise the development of the virtual economy within a wider picture of ‘non-productive’ financial valorisation, demonstrated by the catalysts for the current economic crisis

  • Initiate a tentative exploration of the Net as a an autochthonous entity as part of the debate on the potential contribution to libertarian political thought of scientific cybernetic and systems theories

We draw on a range of sources including libertarian political theory [anarchism, Council Communism, Situationist theory], scientific debates on both cybernetics and emergence and self-organisation in natural systems, modern extrapolations of Marxist economic theory, and ongoing discussions regarding surveillance, social control and contestation of these latter phenomena.


Capitalist Valorisation, Control of Data, Cybernetics, Identity, Internet, Phenomenology, Self-Organisation, Social Contestation, Social Control, Systems Theory, Use of Data.

About the Authors:

Jim Fearnley and Chris Pinchen are miners at the rock-face of the excavation of the Northwest Passage.

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