“We are under fire from (at least) three simultaneous wars: an Economic War unleashed to give another “turn of the screw” against the working class; a Territorial War to ensure control, meter by meter, against the mobilisations and social protests that are multiplying all over the planet; and a Cognitive-Media War to anaesthetise us and criminalise social struggles and their leaders…”
By Fernando Buen Abad Domínguez
Accustomed as we are to consuming (mostly) the extraneous, technology was not and is not an exception that honours any government in gross terms.
Although technological consumerism has taken on very different forms, in quantity and quality, the result is the same. We pay incalculable sums (and with them all its consequences) every minute that technology sovereignty is postponed, muzzled with the talk of the moment.
Let us not confuse the seductive offer, and its debt facilities, with the real and concrete task of substituting technology imports in all areas. The fact that the market presents itself as “seductive” with the offer of “technological wonders” in bulk, leaves the very realities of our lives with the very real impotence that assaults us in front of the shop windows of the unattainable or the contradictory. Even if we make “sacrifices” for it to keep up with the times.
The monopolistic concentration of technology is also a threat to democracies. And we seem to have become accustomed, at incalculable costs, to consuming meekly, planned and addicted, everything that is imposed on us by transnational technology consortiums, often with their headquarters in the war industry.
The Internet, for example, will not let us be mentors. We transfer huge sums of money to the military, banking and media business apparatus – unchecked and unaudited. Here “dependence” is understood in its broad sense, which includes the most varied and the most “novel” addictions.
We acquire technology without sovereignty; we do not consolidate our forces of production; we do not create an internationalist current for an emancipated and emancipatory technology; we do not create the semiotic power plants for emancipation and the rise of consciousness towards transformative praxis in the production of technologies; and we do not create an ethical and moral bastion for the political control of discourse and expenditure.
It is not that there is a lack of talent or expertise, not that there is a lack of money, not that there is a lack of needs with their scenarios. Once again, the crisis of transformative political leadership has taken its toll. We talked a lot, we did little. Not even the “MacBride Report” (1980) was heard and used as it should be.
We are under fire from (at least) three simultaneous wars: an Economic War unleashed to give another “turn of the screw” against the working class; a Territorial War to ensure control, meter by meter, against the mobilisations and social protests that are multiplying all over the planet; and a Cognitive-Media War to anaesthetise us and criminalise social struggles and their leaders.
Three fires that operate in a combined way from the global financial mafias, the war industry and the re-edited “communicational condor plan” determined to silence the peoples.
In particular, the cognitive-media war is an extension of the imperial economic war that is not content with putting its exploitative boot on the neck of the peoples; it also wants us to thank it; it wants us to recognise that this is “good”, that it is “good” for us; that we applaud it and that we inherit the values of exploitation and humiliation to our progeny as if it were a moral triumph of all humanity, as if it were a heritage worthy of being inherited.
The financed discourse is a transnational strategic defence system operated from imperial headquarters with vernacular support. This is what much of the technology they impose on us and much of our induced addictions to the consumerism of their “gadgets” have been used for.
Part of the economic-political power of the transnational technology-producing companies has its vernacular accomplices who operate in a way that is sometimes disguised and sometimes disguised, through all kinds of front men. This is a double articulation of dependency that goes beyond national powers (many of them do not pay taxes, do not respect laws and do not respect identities) while providing support for local operations in which the balance of capital is tipped against work.
Our technological dependence on communication is staggering; we spend enormous sums on producing communication that is generally ephemeral and inefficient; our theoretical bases are largely infiltrated by the bourgeois ideological currents that have taken over the academies and schools of communication; we do not have schools of specialised cadres and we do not manage to develop semantic power stations capable of producing relevant and seductive content and forms in the task of adding consciousness and transformative action. With the exception of the exceptions.
They have implemented banking-financial models of indebtedness and economic dependence inspired by the retraction of the role of the state in order to reduce and suspend the historical right to technological sovereignty.
Thus, we buy from them everything from medicines to instruments, from machinery to philosophies of technology. We buy phones, screens, transponders, plus the cataract of spare parts designed by “planned obsolescence”. Our technological independence sleeps the sleep of “underdevelopment” anaesthetised by juicy contracts that, in addition to subjugating us, “educate” us to be grateful and enraptured by the most surprising technological advances. Mostly alien.
This dependence is an ambush because even some attempts to deploy our own productions tend to be glued to the production and consumption models designed by business ideas and needs. Just as delicate as imitating content is imitating forms. Technological forms are not a-sexualised or immaculate entities, and this does not mean that the terrain of forms cannot be (consciously and critically) expropriated in order to put them at the service of a cultural and communicational transformation, but we must take into account what is really useful and why we are not capable of devising better forms.
Nevertheless, against all the difficulties and not a few pessimistic forecasts, the peoples are fighting on very different fronts and in asymmetrical conditions.
With victorious experiences in more than one sense, a self-critical review is urgently needed. Intoxicated, even in what we do not even imagine, we go along with our “communicational practices” repeating bourgeois manias and vices in bulk. The huge barrage of illusionism, fetishism and mercantilism with which the ideology of the ruling class shakes us daily, has turned many of us into unconscious empiricist parrots capable of repeating hegemonic models thinking, even convinced, that we are very “revolutionary”.
Let us immediately save the very few exceptions.