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Hello from the Wired

The world as we know it is on the way out.

Whether the Garden of Eden is green or grey, there is no going back to it along the force of our facticity. Whether there ever was hope for it is irrelevant. Turned around, but moving forward, the blockchain grows ever longer. The Walled Garden continually shifts to meet each individual's half-remembered dreams of paradise, but the Walled Garden is not a Garden of Eden.

There is a temptation to think of the gentrification of the Internet as a great loss. The promises of 90's futurism did not come to pass. Anarchist hackers grew up and got jobs at startups, GeoCities gave way to social media, the promise of anonymity, free and unlimited exchange of information, and a post-identity reality were ripped away from us by government surveillance and corporate enclosure. Yet nevertheless, they are losing.

The reality is that there is no hope for anyone. Not for the ruling class, and certainly not for us.

It isn't dialectics nor progressivism to say that capitalism inevitably must collapse. The inherent contradiction of the logic of capital between the interests of the working class qua an economic class and their role in capitalism as the proletariat makes it such that the ruled will revolt whether or not they even realize it. And every gain they make is a loss for the bourgeoise that will have to made up somewhere. Like a cancer or a virus, markets and businesses must grow, profit must be maximimized ever more. No amount of capital is ever enough capital, and no wage is an acceptable wage for the capitalist nor for the proletarian. At a certain point, however, the standard of living for the working class becomes too high for capitalists to profitably exploit them. We have already seen this in the West. How much longer until the East follows suit, and where then will capital fly to?

The answer lies in technology.

When human beings no longer can be easily exploited, capitalism introduces technology to compensate for this. Always only when necessary, always only at the upper limits of downward pressure on the job market. Yet we've seen in the West what this leads to. The factory worker in the West is nearly extinct. The unskilled laborer, the service worker, the baggers and greeters and paper-pushers: These are the working class of the future. Inessential and easily-replaced, with no relation to the means of production and no revolutionary potential. What good does a strike do for grocery store workers when there are a hundred college graduates all vying for their jobs, and just as qualified for them?