How fares "The Californian Ideology"? An evening with Richard Barbrook (and Pat Kane)
Pat Kane, one of the co-initiators of The Alternative UK, is chairing this event based around a retrospective on "The Californian Ideology", a treatise written by Richard Barbrook and the late Andy Cameron in 1995, which anticipated much of the digital radicalism we've seen in the last few years.
Tickets are available here, the date is Tuesday 11th July 2017, 18.30-21.00, the place is The Library in St. Martin's Lane, London, and here's some of the blurb:
Richard Barbrook and Andy Cameron’s The Californian Ideology, originally published in 1995 by Mute magazine and the nettime mailinglist, is the iconic text of the first wave of Net criticism. The internet might have fundamentally changed in the last two decades, but their demolition of the neoliberal orthodoxies of Silicon Valley remains shocking and provocative. They question the cult of the dot-com entrepreneur, challenging the theory of technological determinism and refuting the myths of American history. Denounced as the work of ‘looney lefties’ by Silicon Valley’s boosters when it first appeared, The Californian Ideology has since been vindicated by the corporate take-over of the Net and the exposure of the NSA’s mass surveillance programmes.
Published in 1999 at the peak of the dot-com bubble, Richard Barbrook’s Cyber-Communism offers an alternative vision of the shape of things to come, inspired by Marshall McLuhan’s paradoxical ‘thought probes’. With the Californian Ideology growing stronger, the Net was celebrated as the mechanical perfection of neoliberal economics. Barbrook shows how this futurist prophecy is borrowed from America’s defunct Cold War enemy: Stalinist Russia. Technological progress was the catalyst of social transformation. With copyright weakening, intellectual commodities were mutating into gifts. Invented in capitalist America, the Net in the late-1990s had become the first working model of communism in human history.
The original text is here, with a update and reflection written last year by Richard Barbrook.