Capital, State, Empire

Capital, State, Empire

By Scott Timcke
Book Description

The United States presents the greatest source of global geo-political violence and instability. Guided by the radical political economy tradition, this book offers an analysis of the USA’s historical impulse to weaponize communication technologies.

Scott Timcke explores the foundations of this impulse and how the militarization of digital society creates structural injustices and social inequalities. He analyses how new digital communication technologies support American paramountcy and conditions for worldwide capital accumulation. Identifying selected features of contemporary American society, Capital, State, Empire undertakes a materialist critique of this digital society and of the New American Way of War. At the same time it demonstrates how the American security state represses activists—such as Black Lives Matter—who resist this emerging security leviathan. The book also critiques the digital positivism behind the algorithmic regulation used to control labour and further diminish prospects for human flourishing for the ‘99%’.

Capital, State, Empire contributes to a broader understanding of the dynamics of global capitalism and political power in the early 21st century.

Table of Contents
  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1. A Material Critique of Digital Society
  • 1.1 Radical Political Economy as an Organizing Intellectual Framework
  • 1.2 The Need to Jettison Idealism
  • 1.3 The Labour Regimes of Digital Capitalism
  • 1.4 The State of Data
  • Chapter 2. Extraction, Expansion and Economies of Bondage
  • 2.1 European State Formation
  • 2.2 American State Formation
  • 2.3 Intra-Ruling Class Struggle and Bargained Settlement
  • 2.4 Consolidation and Collapse, Contention and Cooperation
  • 2.5 Neoliberalism and the Great Recession
  • Chapter 3. Calculation, Computation, and Conflict
  • 3.1 Cold War Social Science
  • 3.2 The Strategic Return to Centres of Calculation
  • 3.3 Automated Lethal Robotics
  • 3.4 Extrajudicial Drone Strikes
  • 3.5 The Order of the Internet of Things
  • Chapter 4. Internal Rule and the Other America
  • 4.1 The Atrophy of Opposition and the Truly Disadvantaged
  • 4.2 The War on Blacks
  • 4.3 The Daily Ugliness of Police Militarization
  • 4.4 The Universality of Black Lives Matter
  • Chapter 5. External Rule and ‘Free Trade’
  • 5.1 Induced Under- and Combined-Development
  • 5.2 Contradictions of Global Rule
  • 5.3 Bases for Commodities and Containment
  • 5.4 Securing International Circuits of Production
  • 5.5 The Military Response to a ‘Global Power Shift’
  • Chapter 6. Minds, Brains, and Disciplinary Programs
  • 6.1 The First AI Revolution and the Legacies of Political Behaviourism
  • 6.2 The Second AI Revolution and Embodied Computation
  • 6.3 The Role of Economics and Psychology
  • 6.4 Computing Means and Social Ends
  • 6.5 Lazy Definitions and Weak Epistemology
  • 6.6 The Psychologism of Abstracted Empiricism
  • Conclusion. Digital Coercion and the Tendency Towards Unfree Labour
  • Notes
  • References
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