The below is a mind blowing text by Brian Holmes: Volatile Smile – Information’s Metropolis.. the text is full of history hacking of major importance…
I just have tried to highlight the two the sharpest points that created a cerebral
drifting in my mind out of the text. Though it needs further work on facts and figures
in order to establish the idea, this post still presents an informed reflection on the detour take Holmes us over Chicago, based on my current work. Potentially I believe that what the story Holmes lies down here infront of our eyes, so naked, might change the brief history of neoliberalism as we know into a longer history of the emergence of global Informationalism as the sub-structure, even mode of production that has kicked off sort of a Renaissance 2.0; which might be started somewhere in the mid-late 19th century and evolved into a second Modernism project with ups and downs, turbulence and vortex creating crises, wars, revolutions and counter- passive revolutions spreading capitalism globally during the second half of the 20th and early 21st century. Such an unfolding has brought about further ‘Enlightenment’ for some classes while it grown the shadow of darkness for many others, with the rise of global religious wars, surveillance based techno-fascisms and Nazisms.
The first point is the role of philoscienticst immigrated from Eastern European to UK and USA played in the formaition of recent world history. Those mostly ex-citizens of the fallen Austo-Hungarian Empire, who either emigrated US and UK during the 1. or 2. World War and their successors, like in the case of Melamed in Holmes’ piece. The fact that almost all key names has had bear direct and indirect influence of Ernst Mach, figure mostly unknown to left since he buried by Lenin in his criticism of his and Avenarius’ Emprio-Criticism; most and foremost to eliminate his political rival Alexander Bogdanov, and his attempt to advance dialectical materialism by putting Mach’s idealist energetism upside down and syhtesise it by Marx’ abstraction methodology that tuned inside out by Engels. The First generation followers of the original work of Mach were however Carl Menger and his students, like Eugen Böhm von Bawerk, two names known amongst the founders of the ‘marginalist’ revolution (against Marx and his) labour theory of value. Both deeply influenced the 2nd generation Austrian economists Ludwig Von Mises and Joseph Schumpeter, who are the founders of the neoliberalism. The third generation had self-organised itself under Hayek, who is relative to Wittgenstien influenced heavily the logical positivism of Neurath, Carnap and others forming the influencial ‘Vienna Circle’ (Ernst Mach Society). Mises, in Chicago, those days, were the one who did the level work on the ground for offspring education of future agency of the ‘monetary’ financial architecture, built-in the Information’s Metropolis and the 4th generation formed by Friedman and the Chicago boyz.
Interested in human sensory-order and working of the brain cells from his early ages Hayek visited Mises in Chicago many times, before moving to and settling in the ‘City’ of London. Other Austrians, like Wiener and Bartalennfy, founders of Cybernetics and Complex Systems analysis were rooted strongly in Vienna Circle too. One nees to add others into a broader picture; like Tesla, Einstein, Bohr, Boltzman, Broglie brothers, Heisenberg, Neumann, Popper/Soros- the list of those who have shaped the future of US, West, and global capitalism and linked to Vienna circle goes on and on. Not to include all these names mentioned, what we are looking at is a sort of masonic, Rotarian networking which have been linking the Vienna Circle to London, Royal Science Institute, Chicago, and California, where other aspects of the Information Metropolis like Hollywood and the Silicon Valley found life.
The second point is the ’emergence of computer’ out of war period. The operation research group formed by MI-6, led by Alan Turing, resulting in the discovery of the Turing Machine that was build to crack the Echelon, the complex cyrpto-machine that was generating new encryption code every 24 hours during the war to encrypt the communication used by Nazi armies. Such an hack allowed US-UK, NY-Chicago-LA and City based Western capitalism to give a cybernetically controlled end to the 2nd World War. It is for sure that there has been direct working relations formed between Hayek, Turing, and even Wittgenstein, with MI-6, CIA, and MIT; as all served the army at the same side during the war. Such complex connections cutting accross coporations, secret serveices, armies, nazi labratories, think-thanks would go further in the development of the operation research units idea, and linking into Friedman’s project under Mises’ supervision; reminding the connections traced in Naomi Klain’s Shock Doctrine.
The specific connections still needs to be constructed and established, yet the above insights are strongly founded in Holmes’ redo of the brief history of neoliberalism. When the construction is ready, though, I believe such a redo of the history would allow us to rethink of the second Renaissance moment, that started when conscious work on human brain and body, taken further when it converged with resaech on second and third order complex systems. This move have taken the Modernism as a class project, that emerged after the first Renissance and captured by city aristocracy step further. What happened is the consciousness of the ‘self’, ‘sucjective observation and abstraction processes’ in human cognition have become an object of conscious and systematic enquiry.
Unfortunatelly, while two of the most important leaps in this path forward were made by Marx and Mach, the connection between these from an emancipatory point of view by Bogdanov closed off by Lenin’s intervention; while Mach’s paty take much further by Austro-economico-philo-scientics. In order t be able to grasp how this fractionating have outplayed in the shaping of the 20th century, one really needs to grasp math, theoretical physics, computers, algorithms, complex systems analyses, chaos thinking, so on from their fundamentals, how, why and by whom are they constructed as they are, and put work in form of Internet of Everything, financial architecture, Walmart, Google, so on to see these connections. The problem is while unified science or meta-methodology is the fundamental of todays’ operational research units, formed by and working for Quants of WallStreet, Sys admins of NSA, teams working at Nasa, CERN, AI, Genome, Brain research, media and marketing departments and CEOs of transnational corporations like Google, Facebook, Twitter so on while the public academia still is divided into disciplinary partial knowledge compartments; emancipatory forces would have hardship to catch up with what has been happening to humanity.
As one reads Lenin’s Emprio-criticism with close attention, one can easily see how he did not have the time and interest to be put in nature, cosmos and human, from a unified scientific praxis for emancipation, instead of talking of it rhetorically; as a tool for politics and class struggle. So he builds a totally wrong and misleading argumentation based of critic of central role of ‘sensation’ and ‘experience’, which is a electro-magnetic and informational process dialectically and materially connecting the observing mental and the observed material. This wrong, manipulated, and very harsh offencive critic of Lenin, accusing him being pure idealist Machean revisionist brakes the political arms and legs of Bogdanov; and Stalin makes sure that Bogdanov and his ideas remained dead enough. In return this disallows official Orthodox Marxism to go catch-up neoliberal Autrians, growing cells in the new transnational Empire, while serving the grow of its systemic reach by providing a polarity for power accumulation; thus at the end communist hypothesis, emancipatory path that was opened with first Renaissance has collapsed, and revolution failed in delivering material and political strategy better then capitalism in return. It was very unfortunate that Lenin’s attack did work, so that ever since Althusser up till today Marxists around the world could not find the way out of labyrinth and did not have any clue about who the hell was Bogdano and his methodological leap forward would mean the oppressed; let alone the significance of Avenarious’s and Mach’s critics of Locke, Human and Comte’s Empiricism, children of the Scottish ‘Enlightment'; and how Bogdanov’s hack would mean reopening that emancipatory path for the emerging second Renaissance.