Cyber-Marx: Cycles and Circuits of Struggle in High Technology Capitalism

8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0252067952
ISBN-10: 0252067959
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"An outstanding survey of various forms of electronic and political activism that have challenged and even successfully subverted existing technologies; this information is worthy of a volume of its own. This book is a welcome antidote to the dominant voices of business and government, which claim that virtually every aspect of life must succumb to market forces. Dyer-Witheford succeeds in making complex ideas understandable without oversimplification. Required reading for anyone interested in the implications of new information technologies for capitalism and work." - Choice "An excellent introduction to the political theory of the 'antiglobalization' protests... The book's bibliography is quite exhaustive... [It's] clarity of presentation makes it quite useful for academic classes in the social and cultural studies of information and communication, in classes on the political economy of information, for classes in knowledge management, critical management studies, history of information and history of communication." -- Ron Day, Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology ADVANCE PRAISE "An excellent study... Those interested in understanding the vast changes we are undergoing and how we can use technologies to create a better future should find Dyer-Witheford's work extremely useful."-Douglas Kellner, author of Television and the Crisis of Democracy
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press (December 3, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0252067959
  • ISBN-13: 978-0252067952
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #656,166 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Nick Dyer-Witheford is associate professor and associate dean of the faculty of Information and Media Studies at University of Western Ontario.

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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By terisa E. turner on October 29, 2001
Format: Paperback
This superb book not only takes elements of Marx's legacy and makes them contemporary in a prose embraced enthusiastically by undergraduates. It also lists four sites of struggle within a visions of 'circuits of struggle.' These four are
1. struggle at the site of production (usually waged work)
2. struggle at the point of reproduction (women producing people and labour power, students being educated...);
3. struggle at the interface of nature and people (eco-feminism, water, air, forests and indigenous knowledge, seeds, terminator biotechnology and the like); and finally
4. struggle at the site of consumption (GMO foods, labels on foods, carcinogens and war-related poisoning of people and the ecosystem and the like).
The power of this complex analysis of peoples' resistance to corporate profit making is situated in its capacity to unite the thousands of different (formerly called 'single-issue') struggles into one international movement to 'globalize from below' or to build a new 'subsistence society' worldwide centred on the satisfaction of human and ecological needs rather than the production of profit or as John McMurtry (see his forthcoming Value Wars, Pluto, 2002, or 'the Cancer Stage of Capitalism, Pluto, London, 1999)calls 'money demand.'
This book is, for me, one of the top ten pieces of brilliant, committed scholarship, ever. It is in the tradition of both CLR James and the Italian autonomistas, notably Antonio Negri and Maria Rosa Dalla Costa.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Malvin VINE VOICE on August 19, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Cyber Marx" by Nick Dyer-Whitheford is a brilliant Marxist analysis and critique of the economy of technology in late capitalism. The author shreds the techno-booster utopian visions of theorists such as Alvin Toffler to expose today's information society for what it really represents: namely, a post-Fordist attempt by capital to deepen and extend its dominance, control and repression as never before.

Mr. Dyer-Witheford presents evidence that the information infrastructure used to coordinate global production and consumption chains might also provide subversive opportunities to the disenfranchised, who may ultimately choose to develop new social structures existing beyond the control of capital. In this manner, the author believes that the surplus value produced by machines could be used to institute a guaranteed wage, a communication commons, and a revived democracy.

On the other hand, Mr. Dyer-Witheford acknowledges that technology might be used by fascists to spread hate and intolerance, and cautions us that this possibility should not be taken lightly. As the social costs of capitalism increase for ever larger segments of the world's population, it is possible that an under-educated public may be led by self-serving leaders to turn violently against themselves. The author's optimism that people will choose to strive for peace and justice, however, distinguishes his work from the pessimistic tone that sometimes suffuses the work of other postmodernists and contemporary European Marxist scholars.

Mr. Dyer-Whitheford's cogent analysis provides clarity to readers seeking insight into the dynamics of post-industrial society. Let's hope that this important work gets the attention it deserves and provides guidance to those who may be wish to build a more humane and just society. Highly recommended.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By joshua on October 24, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book not only maps out the territory of advanced Capitalism, but it provides a political philosophy that is a "Negri beyond Negri". Although Dyer-Witheford draws a lot of ideas from Antonio Negri and the Italian autonomist tradition, he surpasses them with his excellent analysis of postindustrial capital. Moreover, Negri's most recent work (with Michael Hardt), "Empire" falls short of Dyer-Witheford's "Cyber-Marx" which is more realistic, practical, concise and defensible than Negri has ever been. This book is worth buying by anyone interested in the realities of technological society.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Colin Carson on March 31, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Not only does Dyer-Witheford synthesize the seemingly incomprehensible theories of the so-called 'information society,' of 'cyber-space,' he shakes loose the stranglehold of myths that fortify its existence from above, and reminds us of its appropriation by labouring subjects who resist the ubiquitous oppression of global capital. A fantastic work.
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