The Acceleration of Inertia: The Political Economy of Speed


Simon Glezos

This paper consists of a Deleuzian reading of Schumpeter’s account of technological innovation within capitalism. It describes the tension in Schumpeter between creative destruction (the drive to innovate), and what he calls restrictive practices (the drive to conserve and forestall change). In Deleuzian terms this becomes modeled in the tension between capitalism as a deterritorializing machine and an apparatus of capture. I then use this theoretical framework to investigate the digitization of information, noting how capitalism seeks to accelerate information processes to improve efficiency, but in doing so, runs the risk of losing control of that information (the rise of piracy, creative commons projects, consumer created content, remixing, etc.). It involves a discussion of the interplay of technological and legal restraints on information (DRM as well as Patents) to attempt to control access to information, and technological, social and legal attempts to circumvent them.
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