Revista de filosofía

Mediated Mobility and Economic Immobility: Phenomenology and Libertarian Anarcho-Fascism

769

Abstract

The disruptive impact of digital technology on daily life draws attention to the mediated means and mode of production of social and economic relationships that arise as a consequence. Pointedly, the question of technological mobility is more fundamentally one of the economic immobility inherent in capitalist appropriation of the means of information production. Counterintuitively, communicative mobility exaggerates economic immobility and, in its most unfettered practice, encourages the exploitative excesses of laissez-faire capitalism, widening the gap between haves and have-nots and, in a current assault on egalitarian distribution of wealth, solidifies unregulated anarcho-fascism unleashed by libertarian ideology. Underlying these quantitative disruptions is the inability of digital media—for reasons inherent in the technology—to convey empathy, the exception being pre-digital, face-to-face intersubjective communication. Connectivity, as Sherry Turkle points out, is not conversation, and, as I have proposed, interactivity is not intersubjectivity. The relationship of human to a Coke machine is interactive and interactivity is empathy’s impostor.

Key words: phenomenological libertarianism, Austrofascism, resentment, empathy.

Resumen

El impacto disruptivo de la tecnología digital en la vida diaria llama la atención hacia las formas mediatizadas de producción de lo social y de las relaciones económicas que son la consecuencia. Específicamente, la cuestión de la movilidad tecnológica es, fundamentalmente, una de la inamovilidad económica inherente a la apropiación capitalista de los medios de producción de información. Contraintuitivamente, la movilidad comunicativa profundiza la inmovilidad económica y, en su práctica más libre, fomenta los excesos explotadores del capitalismo del laissez-faire, ampliando la brecha entre ricos y pobres y, en un asalto actual a la distribución igualitaria de la riqueza, solidifica el anarco-fascismo no regulado desatado por la ideología libertaria. Subyaciendo a estas disrupciones cuantitativas está la inhabilidad de los medios digitales – por razones inherentes a la tecnología- de transmitir la empatía, la excepción es pre-digital: la de la comunicación intersubjetiva cara a cara. La conectividad, como Sherry Turkle señala, no es conversación y, como yo he propuesto, la interactividad no es intersubjetividad. La relación de un humano con una máquina de Cola es interactiva y la interaccción es una impostura que toma el lugar de la empatía.

Palabras clave: libertarianismo fenomenológico, Austrofascismo, resentimiento, empatía.

The disruptive impact of digital technology on daily life draws attention to the mediated means and mode of production of social and economic relationships that arise as a consequence. Pointedly, the question of technological mobility is more fundamentally one of the economic immobility inherent in capitalist appropriation of the means of information production. Counterintuitively, communicative mobility exaggerates economic immobility and, in its most unfettered practice, encourages the exploitative excesses of laissez-faire capitalism, widens the gap between haves and have-nots, and, in a current assault on egalitarian distribution of wealth, solidifies unregulated anarcho-fascism[1] unleashed by libertarian cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.

Mobile mediation detaches cryptocurrency from things of the transcendent world, making money a purely formal, algorithmic and ideal entity transaction. At the same time, money is rendered a shared illusion of those who live in a quantitative world devoid of empathy where they blow bubbles in an imaginary marketplace. Phenomenology, with its underlying conceptual roots deeply planted in German subjective idealism, has historically served as an ideological basis for libertarian fascism. With the exception of a picture painted by tunnel-vision phenomenology and hermeneutics, technology is never only a question of engineering and the limitations and extensions that material machines, physical or digital, place on content. For this reason, a fuller understanding of the philosophical bases of contemporary digital capitalism and its technological mobility and economic immobility must be historical for epistemological, ontological, and aesthetic considerations to have meaning.

We begin at the material beginning that Husserl located in eidetic clouds.

In Capital, Marx advises that we look not only to the commodified product of a tool, but also to the disruptions in human life that the machine itself entails.

Hence the character of independence from and estrangement towards the worker, which the capitalist mode of production gives to the conditions of labour and the product of labour, develops into a complete and total antagonism with the advent of machinery. It is therefore when machinery arrives on the scene that the worker for the first time revolts savagely against the instruments of labour.[2]

Marx’ observations on the machines of his own time is accurately extended to today’s digital machines, in this case, mobile media. Whether mechanical or digital, the outcomes are frightening the same. The displacement of cottage-industry production of cloth by steam-driven weaving machines at the start of the industrial revolution, for example, reaches a zenith in aging industrialized countries as workers are discarded in “rust belt” manufacturing, and is paralleled in the transition from mechanical to digital machines and tools. The economic displacement of workers by robots and the automatization of the means and mode of production is a contemporary echo of the late 18th-century and early 19th-century mechanization.

As soon as machinery has set free a part of the workers employed in a given branch of industry, the reserve men are also diverted into new channels of employment, and become absorbed in other branches; meanwhile the original victims, during the period transition, for the most part starve and perish.[3]

Two decades ago, Sherry Turkle noted that the emerging use of the Internet revealed a dangerous process of isolation, depression, and narcissism.[4]

Turkle’s focus was on the impact of digital technology on the formation of personal identity. Her early studies of digital communication were psychological descriptions of Internet experience that did not connect on-line disorders she discovered to empathy. At the same time, I made the connection explicit in “Empathy’s Imposter: Intersubjectivity versus Interactivity”:

Increasingly, studies find cyberspace a place of isolation, loneliness, narcissism, and violence (Cf. Bruckman, Gelder, Michals, Trebilock, Turkle). These disorders are perhaps demonstrative of contemporary hi-tech society in general, but another explanation is that the troubling consequences of sophisticated technology are rooted in an epistemological inability inherent in the medium to convey empathy.[5]

More recently, in Reclaiming Conversation (2016), Turkle establishes a direct connection of Internet communication and the lack of empathy in her critique of always-on-line social media as anti-social media.

The new mediated life has gotten us into trouble. Face-to-face communication is the most human—and humanizing—thing we do. Fully present to one another, we learn to listen. It’s where we develop the capacity for empathy.[6]

Turkle, Sherry

Turkle, Sherry

We should not mistake Marx’, Turkle’s, or my own concerns as similar to the anti-technological völkisch ideology proclaimed in the revanchist apologetics of the Nazi philosophy of Martin Heidegger. Marx noted the potential benefits of technological breakthroughs, Turkle has been deeply immersed in the uses of technology and technological living since the 1980s, and I have been using digital mediation as a journalist since 1989 and in on-line teaching since 1996.[7] Nor should we join the commercial boosterism of those who equate technological “efficiency” with “happiness” and seek solutions to widespread misery in the advanced technology of games and toys.

Turkle’s alarm at the impact and consequences of anti-social media is an echo of the resistance of early 19th-century Luddites who destroyed the stocking-frame weaving machines and the ribbon-looms that Marx refers to in Capital:

The contest between capitalist and wage-laborer dates to the very origin of capital. It has raged on throughout the whole of the manufacturing period. But only since the introduction of machinery has the workman fought against the instrument of labor itself. He revolts against this form of the means of production as being the material base of the capitalist mode of production. . .. The instrument of labor, when it takes the form of a machine, immediately becomes a competitor of the workman himself.[8]

It is not technology or tools that is under attack by Ludd, Marx, Turkle, or me. It is the exploitive use of technology as a means of production or psychological disruption that is targeted. Those who locate agency in tools and their underlying techne misidentify the material thing and its economic use, conflating means and mode of production. Turkle and Marx uncover evidence that, despite the beneficial impact of machines, “the troubling consequences of sophisticated technology are rooted in an epistemological inability inherent in the medium to convey empathy.”

Luddite revolt against machines took the form of resistance available to them, the destruction of the machines themselves, although it was the squalid condition of labor in these first factories to produce mass-produced commodities that brought on revolt. Incidentally, it is a cruel reality that this same industry, textile sweatshops, remain the most exploitative.[9] Industrial “sabotage” to this day is the immediate defensive action of workers against owners whose ethical and political culpability is present in abstentia.[10]

Much like Marx, Turkle suggests that social networks “don’t only change what we do, they change who we are.”[11] Workers become like the instruments of production they use. It is the human worker who becomes robotic, not the robot that becomes “human,” though anthropomorphized robots can create a false sense humanity, cloyingly cute or vulgarly sexual in the case of robot “girls.” Embodiment or incarnation is an impossible goal of technology when by design workers are disembodied, estranged, alienated by the mean and mode of digital tools. The worker is disembodied when displaced by a machine, but the machine is not embodied. The reduction of consciousness to intelligence is the failed quantification of knowledge, a reduction of knowing to bits of information. In turn, once human identity is interpreted as individually quantifiable, quantitative measurement becomes the arbiter of economic standing. To state the obvious, artificial intelligence is artificial, therefore not real; unless we uncritically accept the premise that consciousness is intelligence and intelligence is quantitative, known through calculative and not dialectical reason, personal, individual identity is a matter of measurement, an intelligence quotient (IQ) alone. In this, analytic, calculative reason prevails and allows no space for empathy.

The fallacy of relying solely on quantitative reduction—as significant as analytic and calculative reason is—is fatally limited. Marx’ extensive use of statistical data in volumes two and three of Capital illustrate the use of quantitative and qualitative reason as dialectically related. Within the approach of historical materialism taken as a natural science, qualitative analysis finds its place within the broader scope of dialectical reason and keeps its place as the philosophy of dialectical materialism.[12] We return to that specific instance when, Marx asked, the quantitative becomes the qualitative, when the economic base yields a reciprocating ideological superstructure, a transformation that is mediation as such. What is the process by which numbers and counting—adding and subtracting—become aspirations or, conversely, when dreams become facts in the warehouse of Big Data? Can the rigidity of algorithmic idiocy allow for dreams? As Philip K. Dick asked, “Do androids dream of electric sleep?”

Although Marx saw that Hegel was “the first to present [dialectic’s] form of working in a comprehensive and conscious manner,” he famously added, “With [Hegel the dialectic] is standing on its head. It must be turned right side up again, if you would discover the rational kernel within the mystical shell.”[13]

Turkle’s alarm at the rising use of anti-social media is provided by these salient topics for consideration:

  1. Social Networking Provides Distraction from Real Life
  2. Social Media Provides the Illusion of Companionship
  3. Social Media Can Negatively Affect Self Image
  4. Social Media Provides the Illusion of Social Connection
  5. Social Media Reduces Intimacy[14]

Turkle does not, however, discuss the relationship of digital mobility and economic immobility, specifically the role of empathy as an intersubjective bridge between the two.

The title of Turkle’s book, Alone Together, may be understood as another way of saying digital narcissism. What is it that we see in Figure 1? What is immediately evident is that it is a group that does not recognize itself as a group. Social identity has been torn asunder into individual atoms, leaving only fragments of social identity.

Let’s suppose that the five individuals in the picture are in communication with each other, which in lecture groups and business meetings is often the case, though performed surreptitiously. It is a not necessarily a picture of selfish behavior, though it may be that. It is a picture of the other (the invisible person at the other pole of each mobile device) being placed within the mediated world of the ego, “world” understood as the objective pole of subjective constitution of the other. This other is placed within the order of an all-consuming, subjective mediated knower. The same is likely true of the invisible individual at the other end of the communication. Phenomenologists prefer to think of this relationship as “intersubjective,” thereby keeping its epistemology within the realm of subjectivity, but this avoids the false premise that “I” precedes and constitutes “we.” Individual perception and knowing (cogito)are given uncritical primary over empathy as a mood of social knowing, though it is claimed that empathy is the foundation of intersubjective certitude.

If the communications are with users not included in the picture, four of those in the picture sitting together are outside of the fifth’s individual world, along with everything in the animate and inanimate natural world that surrounds the group. While the communicator may not be selfish in the sense of greedy or insensitive, the world that is consumed is that individual’s will to create and control it, that is, a narcissist’s paradise: a world dependent on a subject’s constitution of it.

It is not the technology that is mobile, but the user. While the subject and object of the mediated mode of knowing in mobile technology are linked in a fixed way to each other by intentionality (every object has a subject and every subject has an object of consciousness), the “of” in each formulation is not grammatically identical. In the phrase “object of consciousness,” of implies active constitution of the object by the subject; in the phrase “subject of consciousness,” of is intuitively descriptive (and assumed as self-evident)—there is no sense of the object constituting the subject. Though they are irreducibly linked, the subject is active, the object passive, though intentionality has a direction and it is in that direction that we see that Husserlian phenomenology is a variety of subjective idealism or pure egology. In this, the cogito-user of mobile technology is epistemologically immobile while the subjective embodiment of the user is ontologically mobile.

Edith Stein

For the subjectivist, the embodied subject-user of smartphone technology is mobile, fixed not by spatial coordinates, but by epistemological coordinates. As Husserl and Edith Stein note, subject-consciousness is a zero-point of orientation to the body, just as the body is the zero-point of orientation to the world. In this sense, the embodied subject-user of technology is mobile. The underlying cogito, however, has the quality of Aristotle’s unmoved or prime mover (primum movens), “that which moves without being moved.”

The term “embodied” has at least two senses. (1) the identity of the subject and body—the corps vécu of Merleau-Ponty’s “I am my body,” a subjectivized or “spirtualized” body; (2) a body into which the subject inserts itself within various economic, social, and political constraints. In the former, the subject is its body; in the later, the subject has a body. But, the term “body” is ambiguous. We have the sense of a dead body or corpse (Körper) studied in static, structural gross anatomy, the sense of the living or live body studied in dynamic physiology, and the slippery term “lived body” (Leib, corps vécu) introduced by Husserl and Merleau-Ponty.

Merleau-Ponty

Merleau-Ponty

Phenomenology, the inevitable outcome of narcissistic subjective idealism that conflates epistemology and ontology, posits the digital self as an epistemological zero point around which everything else moves—the primary, unmoved mover of all motion in the universe. In other words, the mad fantasy of German subjective idealism is unlimited narcissism. The central problem of the knowing subject (cogito) as a center zero-point of consciousness is precisely that it is zero. From this a storm of philosophical confusions arise.

Briefly, despite the obsession of contemporary philosophy and cognitive science to understand digital “social” media as embodied experience, what strikes those, such as Turkle, most about it is that it disembodies experience in its digital rendering of communication. As a consequence, since all other people can only be epistemologically constituted objects of phenomenological narcissism, they lack the existential certitude of the constituting self, which removes the subject from ethical bonds and encourages individualistic, libertarian ruthlessness and fantasy in countless ways—most recently, bitcoin fantasies, reflected in a science-fantasy mania for” world creation” in literary fiction, films, and games.

The fog of phenomenological delusion inverts the evidence of reality known directly. Distance is thought to be eliminated, replaced by digital proximity, but physical distance cannot be turned off and on. “Distance” is consumed by an idealist understanding of the world and becomes an abstraction, not a location. Without location there can be neither mobility nor immobility, of course, so the idealist resorts to figurative wordplay. But linguistic ambiguity and rhetorical tropes, as handy as they may be as a first, tentative way of speaking about and understanding new technology (in this case, digital social media and communication), cause more theoretical harm than good in the long run. Metaphors are symbolic ways of understanding and, we must never forget, the symbol is not the thing, the map is not the territory, the flag is not the nation. This is a grave intellectual danger.

Academics are often beguiled by metaphor, believing, for example, that they can understand the experiences of others vicariously or phenomenologically, which in turn gives them the right to speak as if they understood the callouses of the manual workers, the boredom of clerical workers, the hunger of the poor. It is useless to point out to idealists, however, that there is no such thing as an “as if” callous, no symbolic boredom, no metaphoric pangs of hunger. “The concept of the dog does not bark,” Spinoza taught us.

Is academic knowledge or “sympathetic feeling” of the other possible? Can empathy bridge the separation of subject and object?[15] If so, is that relationship one of equivalence of identity? Are virtual callouses, hunger, boredom possible or are they cruel deceptions? Must “feeling” be reduced to a spiritual, epistemological, or phenomenological detachment from the body? Can empathy be disembodied? In what sense are the incarnate/embodied physical stigmata attributed to Francis of Assisi possible except the delusional world of the subjectivist?

The failure of libertarian phenomenology, its flirtation with Austrofascism, and Nazi hermeneutic phenomenology, allow us insight into the relationship between the mobility of “social” media and the economic immobility of the bulk of its users. Indeed, the technological mobility of “social” media reinforces and exaggerates economic mobility, rigidly separating the have and have-not classes and reinforcing capitalist class structure. To “have” a smartphone is not to be a member of the “have” class of owners any more than “having” a credit-card debt identifies someone as a member of the bourgeoisie. The growth of the economic gap between haves and have-nots parallels the growth of social media and its underlying mobile technology.

After Marx repudiated Hegel and idealism in The German Ideology, he found his intellectual way in the line of Adam Smith, though correcting the Scotsman’s limited rationalization of “market.” Marx deepened insights provided not only in the “invisible hand of the marketplace” found in The Wealth of Nations and, no less significantly, in the “fellow-feeling” that underpinned Smith’s the Theory of Moral Sentiments.

In Moral Sentiments, Smith comments that “As we have no immediate experience of what other men feel, we can form no idea of the manner in which they are affected, but by conceiving what we ourselves should feel in the like situation.” In other words, the Golden Rule: “Love your neighbor as yourself” or “Do unto others as you would do to yourself.[16]” In this, Smith yokes social sympathy or empathy through an act of imagination and individualistic, calculative self-interest, a far cry from idealism. Marx comments that:

As we hear from German ideologists, Germany has in the last few years gone through an unparalleled revolution. The decomposition of the Hegelian philosophy… has developed into a universal ferment into which all the “powers of the past” are swept.[17]

György Lukács

György Lukács

Although phenomenologists maintain that they tread a third way between idealism and materialism, György Lukács refused to accept that the transcendence of the natural world could be bracketed:

Even when phenomenologists dealt with crucial questions of social actuality, they put off the theory of knowledge and asserted that the phenomenological method suspends or “brackets” the question whether the intentional objects are real. The method was thus freed from any knowledge of reality.[18]

Turkle’s observation that social media reduce intimacy is but one step away from my own observation, not based on empirical data but consideration of the structural limitations of the technology itself, that for technological reasons digitalization—because it is solely reliant of the primacy of perception—cannot carry empathy as a way to knowing. Empathy, then, is radically different from other modes of knowing because it is at one and the same time cognitive and ethical.

Cyberspace “empathetic” interactivity is not only delusional; it is deceptive. Edith Stein claims that “[a]s in every experience, deceptions are in empathetic knowledge of foreign subject also possible,”[19] but argues that reiterated empathy can remove deception:

Deception is removed by a further act of empathy. If I empathize that the unmusical person has my enjoyment of a Beethoven symphony, this deception will disappear as soon as I look him in the face and see his expression of deadly boredom.[20]

But the counterpart of reiterated empathy is reiterated deception. What Stein notes is a deception about the other, not the deception or false appearance of the other-as-other, revealing the weakness of phenomenological and, in the case, Thomistic intentionality. Stein places deception in the subject’s visual perception of the other (the face), not in the other. Deceptions about the other, she claims, can be remedied: “In order to prevent such errors and deceptions, we need to be constantly guided by empathy through outer perception.”[21] Empathy, then, is contingent on “outer perception,” that is, perception rooted in the senses, not apperception.

Unfortunately, Stein’s “further act” of empathy, that is, reiteration, is inherent in internet experience, a perfected medium of reiteration, and repetition is the breeding ground of bored subjectivity. Repetition of representation via digital media is troublesome to Stein’s belief that deception may be overcome through acts of reiterated empathy. Repetition is the essence of internet experience, its representational product existing only in repetition.[22]

Libertarian phenomenology, while granting the spatial mobility of smartphones as a zero-point of technological orientation in the world, denies economic mobility to the oppressed by psychologizing their physical needs. Laizzez-faire phenomenologists accept the first clause of Marx’s well-known formula while rejecting the second: “From each according to his means, to each according to his needs.” This is nowhere more apparent than in Ludwig Mises’ collaboration with Austrofascism and the influence he exerted on Alfred Schmutz.

It has been remarked that libertarianism is a gateway drug to the alt-right and the close association of libertarians and torch-bearing neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia last year was an ominous shadow of libertarian cooperation with the regime of the Austrofascist Engelbert Dollfuss in the inter-war years. The mentor of Alfred Schütz, the subjectivist economist Ludwig von Mises, who served as a consultant to the Dollfuss government, commented that fascism was admirable:

It cannot be denied that Fascism and similar movements aiming at the establishment of dictatorships are full of the best intentions and that their intervention has, for the moment, saved European civilization. The merit that Fascism has thereby won for itself will live on eternally in history. But though its policy has brought salvation for the moment, it is not of the kind which could promise continued success. Fascism was an emergency makeshift. To view it as something more would be a fatal error.[23]

Underlying subjectivist ideology is uncritical acceptance of individual identity. Mises’ petit-bourgeois prejudice insisted that “Nothing, however, is as ill-founded as the assertion of the alleged equality of all members of the human race,”[24] a claim that erroneously equates a totality of individual members with collective singularity, placing individuation ahead of social being.

Mises’ projects his subjectivist ideology, itself rooted in class-based petit-bourgeois experience, muddying and confusing two of the seven deadly sins, envy and anger. Anger can be righteous, taken as a reaction to injustice; envy is petty, never righteous or noble, though it is on the envy of the working class that the Austrian School of Economics rests. Historically, it is not envy that brings on revolution, but lack of land and bread. The have-not lower classes react in anger to economic injustice, that is, having-not. On the contrary, it is the rich and “middle-class” who fuel their greed with envy, the accomplice of their avarice. It is not anger and envy that go hand-and-hand; it is envy and greed. Radix mailroom es cupiditas.

Alfred Schütz

Alfred Schütz

Mises finds working-class envy to be rooted in resentment and the cause of its opposition to the ruling class. InThe Psychological Roots of Antiliberalism, he argues:

“. . . the root of the opposition to liberalism[25] cannot be reached by resort to the method of reason. This opposition does not stem from the reason, but from a pathological mental attitude, from resentment….[26]

Subjectivism leads Mises to psychologism, psychologism to self-justification by displacement of bad intentions on the other:

Concerning resentment and envious malevolence little need be said. Resentment is at work when one so hates somebody for his more favorable circumstances that one is prepared to bear heavy losses if only the hated one might also come to harm. Many of those who attack capitalism know very well that their situation under any other economic system will be less favorable. Nevertheless, with full knowledge of this fact, they advocate a reform, e.g., socialism, because they hope that the rich, whom they envy, will also suffer under it. Time and again one hears socialists say that even material want will be easier to bear in a socialist.[27]

It is the bourgeoisie and petit-bourgeoisie who express resentment of have-nots and have-a-little workers as lazy “freeloaders” who take from them what they have not earned through progressive, distributive taxation. Schütz did not disagree with this fascist formulation. The phenomenological realist admitted that his “scanty knowledge of economics is based on what I learned in Vienna some 25 years ago as economic theory and this was based on the particular brand of marginal theory developed by the Austrian school.”[28]

Just as von Mises found it convenient to sacrifice devotion to personal freedom and, for convenience serve the self-interest of capitalist “free” markets by collaboration with Austrian fascism, the same subjectivist ideology prevailed when the School of Austrian Economics was transplanted to the United States, becoming the Chicago School of Economics that infamously supported the fascist reign of terror in Chile four decades later:

The approval that Mises gave to Dollfuss was a precursor to the squirmy support Friedrich August von Hayek and Milton Friedman gave to the Pinochet regime in Chile. All three men were in some ways acting in consistency with the doctrines of classical liberalism, which prizes private property while being fearful of democracy. What they failed to realize is that under modern dictatorships, neither property nor any other right is secure.[29]

Nor should we pass over lightly the association of Austrian libertarianism and “realist” phenomenology with racism (as was the elitist, hermeneutic racism of Hannah Arendt, who opposed integration when she took of exile in New York) when it arrived in the United States:

Schütz’s “quiet” liberalism is also evident from the neglected fact that he was a very early associate and eventually a member of the Mont Pélèrin Society, the rather exclusive classical liberal, libertarian, and conservative forum founded by Hayek. He must thus have been considered as belonging in that camp—both by himself and by whom he joined.[30]

Where does this leave those in the “continent” tradition of philosophy, specifically within the scope of phenomenology and its varieties—except in the speculative halls of academe talking to each other while the world around them burns?

To flirt with fascism is the irrational and dangerous Romantic game of petty-bourgeois intellectuals, and the point is that the digital media of mobility seem to constitute new modalities of a vicarious intersubjectivity disguising a lack of empathy, which is beyond the analytical capabilities of the intellectual phenomenological tradition.

 

 

Notes

[1] “Anarcho-fascism: the libertarian endgame.” https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2010/6/15/876205/-;
See also “Anarco-fascismhttps://attackthesystem.com/2016/11/20/anarcho-fascism-an-overview-of-right-wing-anarchist-thought/
“Libertarian” is the North American synonym for classical “liberal” economics of Adam Smith. Elsewhere, synonyms include “neo-liberal,” “globalist,” “laissez-faire,” “law-of-the-jungle,” “red-tooth, red claw,” “casino” capitalism.
Ideal is here interchangeable with fictional and libertarian individualism understood as the gateway drug to fascism.
[2] https://www.socialist.net/marx-s-capital-chapters-15-the-machine.htm (558-559)
[3] https://www.socialist.net/marx-s-capital-chapters-15-the-machine.htm (p567-568)
[4] Turkle, Sherry. “Is the Net Redefining Our Identity?” Technology and Science. Ed. Dianne Fallon. Madison, WI: Course wise Publishing, 1999. 98-99. See also:
—. “Is the Net Redefining Our Identity?” Technology and Science. Ed. Dianne Fallon. Madison, WI: Coursewise Publishing, 1999. 98-99. Turkle, Sherry. “Who Am We?” Who Are We? Ed. Rise B. Axelrod and Charles Cooper. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1997. 51-56.
[5] “Empathy’s Imposter: Intersubjectivity versus Interactivity,” Glimpse. San Diego: Society for Phenomenology and Media, winter, 2000. Digital media exhibit “. . . a medium-structured noetic deficiency that denies the certitude of an intersubjective bridge, suggesting a general inadequacy in Internet communication, one central to each disorder in its own poetically-mediated fashion, whether visual perception, memory, imagination, or other mode of experience
[6] Turkle, Sherry. Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age. New York: Penguin, 2016. 3
[7] Turkle is the Abby Rockefeller Maize Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology at MIT
[8] Marx, Karl. Capital. Section 5: “The Strife between Workman and Machine.” Trans. By Samuel Moore and Edward Aveling. New York: International Publishers, 1947. 427-430.
[9] Gardiner Harris, “Bangladeshi Factory Owners Charged in Fire That Killed 112,” The New York Times, DEC. 22, 2013. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/23/world/asia/bangladeshi-factory-owners-charged-in-fatal-fire.html
[10] Luddite industrial “sabotage” was and remains a struggle against the mode of production—the source of manufacturing revolt—and the resulting conditions of labor that accompany it, though the means of production, the machines of industry, are what is at hand. The technological invention and introduction of mass-production—whether mechanized weaving machines or the printing press—not the machines themselves that brought and will continue to bring about industrial revolt—as we are to learn in the automatization and robotization of labor relying on artificial intelligence for ruling-class profit, not worker safely or human enrichment.
[11] Turkle, Sherry. “Are We Plugged-in, Connected, or Alone?”
< https://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=172988165>
—. “Connected but Alone?” < https://www.ted.com/talks/sherry_turkle_alone_together/transcript>
—. “Five Key Points” <https://www.slideshare.net/rokk3rlabs/5-key-points-sherry-turkle-a-ted-talk-summarized>
[12] It is open to debate that the atomism that Louis Althusser discovers in Epicurus’ aleatory swerve (cliamen) can be fitted to deterministic, base-superstructure Marxist analysis.
[13] Karl Marx, Capital: A Critique of Political Economy, ed. Frederick Engels (New York: Modern Library, no date, first published 1906), p. 25. Louis Althusser adds that “if the Marxist dialectic is ‘in principle’ the opposite of the Hegelian dialectic, if it is rational and not mystical-mystified-masticatory, this radical distinction must be manifest in its essence, that is, in its determinations and specific structures. To be clear, this means that fundamental structures of the Hegelian dialectic such as negation, the negation of the negation, the identity of opposites, ‘solation’, the transformation of quantity into quality, contradiction, etc., have for Marx . . . a structure different from that which they have for Hegel. It also means that these structural differences can be demonstrated, described, determined and thought.” Louis Althusser, “Contradiction and overdetermination”:
<https://platypus1917.org/wpcontent/uploads/readings/althusser_overdetermination_nlr41.pdf>
[14] Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/322982#ixzz4zC2jAfko
[15] I am uncomfortable with the word “empathy,” but admit that other words (“love,” charity,” “agape,” etc.) also carry heavy ideological loads.
[16] Matthew 7:12, Luke 6:31, James 2:8, etc. The radical individualist, George Bernard Shaw, demurred, “Do not do unto others as you would that they should do unto you. Their tastes may not be the same.”
[17] Karl Marx. The German Ideology. Part I: Feuerbach: Opposition of the Materialist and Idealist Outlook: A. Idealism and Materialism: The Illusions of German Ideology. 1845 <https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1845/german-ideology/ch01a.htm>
[18] Existentialism. “Once, during the First World War, Scheler visited me in Heidelberg, and we had an informative conversation on this subject. Scheler maintained that phenomenology was a universal method which could have anything for its intentional object. For example, he explained, phenomenological researches could be made about the devil; only the question of the devil’s reality would first have to be “bracketed.” “Certainly,” I answered. “and when you are finished with the phenomenological picture of the devil, you open the brackets—and the devil in person is standing before you.” Scheler laughed, shrugged his shoulders, and made no reply.”
[19] Stein, Edith. On the Problem of Empathy. Trans. by Waltraut Stein. Washington, D. C.: ICS Publications, 1989, 86
[20] Stein, 87.
[21] Stein, 87.
[22] Contrary to Stein’s belief, the reiteration of interactive digital experience does not lead to the removal of deception concerning the other, but to habitual behavior. Repetitive hyperactivity is habitual activity leading to boredom, not certitude. Internet imagery that initially awes a website’s new visitor soon becomes tedious to the viewer, and knowing designers of elaborately interactive websites often include a skip button that allows users to move ahead without reiterating the representation that causes boredom. Of course, the skip button itself soon becomes tedious, repetitive interactivity. Digital interactivity facilitates boredom at dazzling speed. For Stein, reiteration is an act of empathy originating in the subject and it is the empathetic subject who is undeceived by repetition. Perceptual interaction with the digitized other allows for reiterative empathy, but the same activity also provides ground for reiterated deception because cyberspace interactivity does not clear the intermediate perceptual space for Stein’s epistemological “looking in the face,” the look that grants certitude. Face-to-face communication, a physical impossibility in internet communication, is fundamentally changed by the addition of superfluous digital information-content that extends the object into the subject by the nature of its visual-representational reconstruction of the object, a reversal of the process provided by analogue technology (e. g., the lenses of eyeglasses, optical telescopes, microscopes, etc.) that transforms the object but does not reconstruct it.
[23] that in Liberalism (1927)
[24] Ludwig Von Mises, Liberalism, p 28.
[25] Keep in mind that the American use of the term “liberal” as a political ideology on the “left” or progressive is confusing. “Liberal” The American use requires that the original sense of Smith’s “liberalism” be expressed by other terms, such as “libertarianism,” “neo-liberalism,” and “globalism,” terms that refer to free-market economics.
[26] Liberalism: In the Classical Tradition: “(T)he problem with the other origin of the “good,” of the good man, as the person of resentment has thought it out for himself, demands some conclusion. It is not surprising that the lambs should bear a grudge against the great birds of prey, but that is no reason for blaming the great birds of prey for taking the little lambs. And when the lambs say among themselves, “These birds of prey are evil, and he who least resembles a bird of prey, who is rather its opposite, a lamb,—should he not be good?” then there is nothing to carp with in this ideal’s establishment, though the birds of prey may regard it a little mockingly, and maybe say to themselves, “We bear no grudge against them, these good lambs, we even love them: nothing is tastier than a tender lamb.” — Friedrich NietzscheOn the Genealogy of Morality

See Also:
The Viennese Connection: Alfred Schütz and the Austrian School, 66
—. [1932] 1967. Der Sinnhafte Aufbau der Sozialen Welt. Vienna: Julius Springer. Translated as The Phenomenology of the Social World. Evanston, Ind.: Northwestern University Press.
—. [1953] 1966. “Common-Sense and Scientific Interpretation of Human Action.” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 14: 1–37. Reprinted in Alfred Schütz, Collected Papers III: Studies in Phenomenological Philosophy. Ilse Schütz, ed. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff. Pp. 3–47.
—. [1943] 1964. “The Problem of Rationality in the Social World.” Economica 10: 130–49. Reprinted in Alfred Schütz, Collected II: Studies in Social Theory. Arvin Brodersen, ed. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff. Pp. 64–88.
—. [1951] 1962. “Choosing among Projects of Action.” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 12: 161–84. Reprinted in Alfred Schütz, Collected Papers I: The Problem of Social Reality. Maurice Natanson, ed. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 67–96.
[27] Ludwig von Mises, The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality. “Resentment is at work when one so hates somebody for his more favorable circumstances that one is prepared to bear heavy losses if only the hated one might also come to harm. Many of those who attack capitalism know very well that their situation under any other economic system will be less favorable society because people will realize that no one is better off than his neighbor…. At all events, resentment can still be dealt with by rational arguments. It is, after all, not too difficult to make clear to a person who is filled with resentment that the important thing for him cannot be to worsen the position of his better situated fellow men, but to improve his own.”
< https://mises.org/library/liberalism-classical-tradition/html/p/22 . . . This should, quite naturally, also raise some interest among those with an interest in the methodology of economics, and so should the fact that Schütz in his youth studied in Vienna and was associated with a number of the members of the third and fourth generations of the Austrian School of economists, in particular with Ludwig von Mises (1881–1973), Friedrich August von Hayek (1899–1992), and Fritz Machlup (1902–1983).
“Wagner, in fact, neglects or misrepresents a large number of points that will be stressed here; his total assessment of Schütz’s possible affinity with the Austrian economists is encapsulated in this short passage: “Schütz accepted marginal utility theory in principle. … What kept him within the Viennese school were its underlying interpretative assumptions: it explained an apparently mechanical and impersonal economic process in terms of subjective decisions and individual actions” (Wagner 1983, p. 12; italics added).
[28] Alfred Schütz, Letter to Adolph Loewe, 7 December 1955. See also:
—. Schütz, Alfred. [1934] 1996a. Collected Papers IV. Helmut Wagner, George Psathas, and Fred Kersten, eds. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
—. [1934] 1996b. “Staat-Gesellschaft-Recht-Wirtschaft.” Review of Mises’s Grundprobleme der Nationalökonomie. Deutsche Literaturzeitung 1 (January): 36–42. Translated as: “Basic Problems of Political Economy.” Reprinted in Schütz 1996a. Pp. 88–92.
—. [1930] 1996c. “Verstehen und Handeln.” Notes for a lecture. Miseskreis 27 June 1930. Edited and translated as: “Understanding and Acting in Political Economy and Other Social Sciences.” Reprinted in Schütz 1996a. Pp. 84—87.
—. [1928–29] 1996d. “Pragmatismus und Soziologie.” Notes for four lectures. Miseskreis December 1928–March 1929. Edited and translated as: “Toward a Viable Sociology.” Reprinted in Schütz 1996a. Pp. 75–83.
[29] Jeet Heer, Mises and the “Merit” of Fascism, December 15, 2007. <https://sanseverything.wordpress.com/2007/12/15/mises-and-the-merit-of-fascism/>
[30] https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12113-003-1018-y