Digital colonialism: towards a hacker-fanonian critique,
by Deivison Faustino and Walter Lippold.
((Book published in Portuguese – English translation will be available soon))
The present time, marked by dizzying technological-digital advances, is also, paradoxically, the moment when we experience a real dystopia: a cyberpunk scenario where the highest technologies (high-tech) coexist, and even provide, the lowest living conditions. (low life). It’s about an increasingly fast-paced, mechanized and empty life. At the same time, informational data, extracted with or without consent from common users across the globe, is sold, stored and/or processed by supercomputers in some country in the global north, while the rest of the world is reduced to a data provider and consumer of technology produced in rich countries. Understanding this scenario is the objective of the work Digital Colonialism: towards a hacker-fanonian critique, by Deivison Faustino and Walter Lippold.
Published by Editora Ciências Revolucionarias (Revolutionary Sciences Publisher), the book is an essay that starts from the technological decolonization proposed by Fanon in his experience in Algeria, to face the feverish illusions of the fetish of technology and a supposed immaterial capitalism. The authors build their arguments from the critique of Marx’s political economy, dialoguing with Terezinha Ferrari’s concept of fabrication to understand the place of information technologies in contemporary expressions of racism and, above all, in the class struggle. The preface is signed by Professor Karina Menezes from UFBA, member of the Raul Hacker Club; the blurb was produced by researcher and tech society fellow at Mozilla, Tarcízio Silva.
Studies and publications on digital colonialism and data colonialism are growing worldwide. However, the most important element of the colonial phenomenon is often taken for granted: racialization. Algorithmic racism is analyzed here within a concrete totality, where the properties of the phenomenon are developed through its contradictions: in the scenario of digital colonialism, the supposed “white man’s burden” becomes the white nerd’s burden through neoliberal manipulation. of technological charity as a way of updating geopolitical, ideological or business controls in territories historically deprived of technological development.
Pandemic has accelerated a process of digital immersion that, over the last two decades, has modified mediations in sociability, in the world of work and entertainment. The platforming of capitalist production relations led to the precariousness of work, shaping the ideology of the entrepreneurial subject, entrepreneur-of-itself, but, above all, it intensified a platforming of life. More than a subject, a 24/7 project, we have been increasingly marketed through social networks and streaming services that extract our data and biodata, towards the deepening of connections in an internet of things, where things seem more alive and self-aware than we, imperfect and finite humans.
Big techs based in Silicon Valley are monopoly companies with more power than many nation states and the cyberspace utopia has devolved into the dystopia of digital vigilantism and pervasive commodification of life. The materiality of digital colonialism is expressed in the creation of worlds of death in Africa, Asia or South America, spaces for the extraction of raw materials from the third and fourth phases of the industrial revolution. At the same time, there is a universalization of a kind of primitive accumulation of data to the detriment of the privatization of the digital welfare state, accessible to a small part of paying users and large business monopolies.
If the authors are correct in their exploration and hypotheses, digital colonialism – treated in detail in the book – is not a euphemism or metaphor of power, but an objective tendency of the social and racial division of labor in contemporary capitalism with the power to intensify the forms exploitation and oppression to an unprecedented level. This diagnosis does not mean, however, reasons for dystopian and immobilizing panics, but, on the contrary, invites us to an increasingly unavoidable debate, to any societal project that aims to oppose the current social barbarism.
- Deivison Faustino has a PhD in Sociology and is a Professor at the Postgraduate Program in Social Work and Social Policies at the Federal University of São Paulo. He is a member of the Amma Psique e NegritudeInstitute and a researcher at the Reflexos de Palmares Center where he researches digital colonialism, among other topics on the relationship between capitalism and racism. He is the author of several books and articles on Frantz Fanon, capitalism and racism, and anti-racist thought, including Frantz Fanon: a revolutionary, particularly Black (2018) and The dispute around Frantz Fanon: the theory and politics of contemporary Fanonisms (2018) 2020), Frantz Fanon and the crossroads: theory, politics and subjectivity (2022).
- Walter Lippold is a PhD in History and researcher at the Reflexos de Palmares Nucleus, investigating the phenomena of digital colonialism and hacktivism. He researches Fanon’s work and the History of Algeria. A member of the Fanon Collective, he wrote the book Frantz Fanon and the Algerian Revolution (2021), released by Editora Ciências Revolucionarias in Brazil and Editora Proprietas in Portugal, in which he works as an editor..
Cover: Marlon Mello
Price : R$60.00 (Br)
Other works by the authors:https://deivisonnkosi.com.br/pub/colonialismo-digital/