General Intellect

I have been spending a bit of time with the autonomists and their reading of Marx’s fragment on machines. I was especially struck by this paragraph from Paolo Virno‘s short essay on the General Intellect:

The cynic recognises the primary role of certain epistemic models in his specific context, as well as the absence of real equivalents; he repeals any aspiration to transparent and dialogical communication; from the outset, he relinquishes the search for an inter-subjective foundation to his praxis and withdraws from reclaiming a shared criterion of moral judgement. The cynic dispels any illusion of prospects of egalitarian ‘mutual recognition’. The demise of the principle of equivalence manifests itself in the cynic’s conduct as the restless abandonment of the demand for equality. The cynic entrusts his self-affirmation to the unbound multiplication of hierarchies and inequalities that the centrality of knowledge in production seems to entail.

There is something really important going on here with the rise of computation and face systems of calculating equality.