book project: What is control in the context of network? The phrase “We’ve lost control” represents an anxiety we consider to be dis-cernable at the heart of efforts to contain and control threats in the post-9/11,post-global network era.
28 Weeks Later
exemplifies the futility of modern war-fare in post-global, viral conditions of terrorism, epidemics, and cyberwars. The ‘enemy’ is indistinguishable from the general populace, and hence theamorphous multitude itself becomes the target. From zombies to zombie-bots,the rise of network society, and with it a system of power relations necessitat-ed by a world in which globalization is a fact of life, the film illustrates an over-arching problematic of what it means to fight for control of a ubiquitous,self-sustaining yet indefinable entity. We argue that this problematic is tetheredto a yet to be fully explored quality of the network as an active, seemingly alivepost-human (i.e., Human-machine hybrid) entity that, by its very nature, com-plicates a hierarchical order of power and knowledge.David Singh Grewal (2008) argues that, as a non-linear power relation, working through decentralized relations of sociability, the network operatesthrough regulations of standards as opposed to the enforcement of a sovereign will. This does not mean that network is democratic. As actor-network theo-rist Bruno Latour (1988) pointed out more than two decades ago, all relationsin network are demonstrated lines of force. Network functions as a diffuse sys-tem of control and regulation operating through a multitude of nodes. Withoutinstitutions to contain it and give it form, network becomes difficult to fix, man-age and control. Moreover, network is more than the accumulation of individ-ual bodies. It is more like what Terranova (2004) refers to as a system of multitude. In this system, she writes:
…you can observe and kill an individual entity, anatomize it, and you still won’tfind out what it is that will make it act in a certain way once it acts as an element within a population open to flows. You can collect as much data as you wantabout individual users, but this won’t give you the dynamic of the overall network (p. 104).
This system invites, she argues, “the abstract machine of soft control,” that facil-itates growth and function of a multitude. Building on Hardt and Negri’s(2000) autonomista discourse, she explores the notion of multitude as a poten-tial for political engagement in the network. Multitude invites a different typeof control from hierarchical systems and therefore different power alliancesand relations. These are made even more slippery in the post-global context.Much like network has become a cultural norm, so too has globalization irrev-ocably changed the world order (in the sense of a one-world government). Andin the context of Hardt and Negri’s
the post-global network necessi-tated the emergence of new sovereignty aimed at controlling multitude. Withprinciples of network organization at its heart, a post-global sovereignty in the
CONTROL AND FEAR IN POST
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