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  • Introduction: A World That Has Changed, But Has Not Changed

    Robert Hassan

    Chapter from the book: Hassan, R. 2020. The Condition of Digitality: A Post-Modern Marxism for the Practice of Digital Life.


    Explaining this book’s link to David Harvey’s The Condition of Postmodernity the author asks: why David Harvey, why this particular book and why does the pervasiveness of digital technology make it appropriate to revisit this book’s insights now? The author argues that the world has moved on, as capitalism has shifted to new forms of accumulation powered by digitality. This is a real sea-change that originated from a ‘mutation’ in the processes of accumulation caused by digitality and its capacity to create a new kind of accumulation because of the existence of a new form of space—virtual and networked—that has rendered accumulation a process no longer limited by physical geography. The embrace of a post-modern Marxism—this introduction explains— is made by this book. This does not necessarily involve the rejection of the analytical value of concepts of class, of the leading role of the economy, or of the central importance of the function of capitalism in space and time. It rather emphasises the need to prioritise things. The suddenness of digitality’s arrival needs to be recognised as something more than just a characteristic of ‘efficiency’ and the speed of computing applications. Its suddenness was partly due to the weakness of social organisations to resist its implementation by business. But its swift arrival meant also that many missed the importance, ontologically as well as economically and culturally, of what was really happening as a global networked society took shape.

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    Hassan, R. 2020. Introduction: A World That Has Changed, But Has Not Changed. In: Hassan, R, The Condition of Digitality. London: University of Westminster Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16997/book44.a

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    Published on Jan. 10, 2020