Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Paul Virilio: The Futurism of the Instant

Paul Virilio, in The Futurism of the Instant: Stop-Eject (2010, translated by Julie Rose from the original Le Futurisme de l'instant, 2009), sees more clearly than most contemporary observers, I suspect. He pretty much calls the Arab Spring and various global movements even before they ramped into action.

Virilio shows how time and space have become telescoped inside rapid globalization and "the transpolitical tragedy of ecology."

Virilio notes that "there has long been a floating population of close to 100 million destitute peasants in China, wondering around looking for work and most often winding up in the country's vast railway stations" (p. 4). As for transnational economic policymakers: "What developers now have in mind is a non-stop circus, a long-haul cruise for the exiles of outsourcing" (p. 5). Which is what we're seeing as of 2011. 

Today's Rune: Movement.  

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