Micropolitics, biological computing and the networking revolution

Mainstream politics that governs countries, is built on a top-down approach; one that subsumes the small into the generality of its structure, thus, for the most part.  We could refer to this as macropolitics, where the very word ‘macro’ refers to the single instruction that expands automatically into a set of instructions to perform a particular task. The automatedness of macropolitics is key here, where large-scale operations are subsumed by a master command.

The alternative to this would be micropolitics, where a procedure “operates transversally, activating the affective potential of the interval between feeling and doing” (2009). Instead of using a hierarchical business model where the powerful make decisions based not on affective potentialities, micropolitics attention to affective politics relies not on the power of a body, but rather the potential of the body to do, to make, to invent.

It is evident that the Internet is predominantly build upon a macropolitical framework, and based on “a fundamentally hierarchical architecture” which we “surrender to the corporations who run it” (Rushkoff, 2011). Our use of the Internet may be transversal and micropolitical, however, we are engaging with a service that is predominantly built on a top-down approach, where corporate owners, Intelligence agencies and regulative authorities frame our use of it.

The solution would be an appeal to biological computing which replicates, as inferred within the name, a biological, or a natural approach to computer technology; technology that is based on a “living organism” (Terranova, 2004; p. 233). Biological computing works from a bottom-up approach, modelling the “behaviour of the central nervous system” (Terranova, 2004; p. 233). What this means is that technological behaviour is dispersed across a vast array of animated entities. There is no overall power directing actants, and rather acts according to the connectivity to its counterparts. This means that their behaviour is not subject to the predictability that macropolitical Internet systems try to enforce, such as Facebook’s moderation of a user’s behaviour that results in them providing one with recommendations for future use.

There are indeed Internet services that are made up of “a multitude of simple bodies in an open system” that are both “acentred and leaderless” (Terranova, 2004; p. 245), such as Kickstarter and Bandcamp. They prove to be successful as power is distributed in a way that makes users equal to their peers, thus resulting in the perpetual sharing of information, peer producing communities and the governance of material being the sole product of the user.

As Rushkoff (2011) has stated, “the revolution will be socialised”. Via the institution of socialised technologies, like those of biological computing that attempt to replicate the functioning of our biological selves rather than those of material capitalistic endeavours, we will be able to innovate an Internet that is shared and that can permeate through the power structures of corporate leadership in order to implement an open source democracy.



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