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April 06, 2005



I didn't quite get the full meaning of this quote until I got to the part which said:

"Vectoralists try to break capital's monopoly on the production process, and subordinate the production of goods to the circulation of information. The leading corporations divest themselves of their productive capacity, as this is no longer a source of power. Their power lies in monopolising intellectual property - patents and brands - and the means of reproducing their value - the vectors of communication."

Having worked for a company engaged in this process of shearing off their production capacity and 'streamlining operations' so that they became basically a marketing company (though I must say there were by no means in the vanguard of this process and still own many plants worldwide as well as having sold a lot of them), I find this strikes a chord. It is strange to think that the power of a brand is supposed to lie in the consumer's belief that the quality of the branded product is superior to that of other products. Yet the company branding the product no longer produces the product and in fact only provides the recipe. So you pay extra for a branded product but you still only get something produced in a sweatshop using the same gunk that goes into a supermarket own brand or economy value product.

As with many aspects of modern culture, everyone seems to complain about this shift from manufacturing to marketing among major corporations. And yet the corporations would respond by saying that consumers only buy products that are competitively priced but which they believe to be of good quality. It seems that people in developed countries at least are not willing to pay higher prices for products produced locally or by the brand owning company OR lower prices for non-branded products. No wonder small businesses can no longer survive in the UK, and no wonder our leisure activities and our cities are becoming so homogeneous.

After my revolution, multiplex cinemas, branded shampoos and supermarkets will all be BANNED!


mhm, great to see that Wark's groundbreaking work is looming large in other spaces, blogs, etc. i've just translated Wark's manifesto (am from Sofia, Bulgaria) and am about to publish it in a cultural periodical here. i greatlt appreciate his approaching the binnaries in terms of cold late capitalism, yet one can easily see what has he red or not red. if i am right, he has done a more or less hidden reading of Louis ALthuser's work on ideology, for example.
anyway. greetings to those who do this blog!

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