Who put the C in ICT? When did the word Communication(s) slip in? According to Dyer Witherford in Cyber Marx, communication(s) could well stand for capitalism. Following in the tradition of Negri and Autonomist Marxism, DW claims technology has become the major site of class struggle and conflict in 21st century. Techno-science is portrayed as an ‘instrument of capitalist domination’ with control of communication channels in the hands of multi-national organisations. Flows of information and digital data are less easily managed which is creating space for ‘invention’ power to re-appropriate and subvert and use information for alternative purposes. It’s the tension between these contesting interests which provides society with the nucleus for revolution.
Information theorists suggest our current ‘information society’ represents a ‘third age’, one that follows the ‘agrarian’ and ‘industrial’ ones. They argue industry has been succeeded by information and techno-scientific knowledge has become the main wealth-producing resource (but wouldn’t rain forests and natural treasures like gold have valid claims?) Evidence of a knowledge economy is all around and critical to the dissemination and management of these new ways of working have been the developments in Information Technology (IT). We now generally use the acronym ICT but when did the additional letter slip in? Pondering like you do (long car journey – monotonous roads) the parallels between the Autonomist’s view of the I and the C as representing conflict between citizen and state makes a potential duality of meaning an appropriate one.