Technology is capital
Fifth Estate’s critique of the megamachine
in Changing anarchism

Starting from the late 1970s, the Fifth Estate (FE) began to put forward the argument that the technologies of capitalism cannot be separated from the socioeconomic system itself. The FE has attempted to disentangle capital and technology and to create the basis for an analysis of technology as an autonomous social agent. Basing its theoretical position on Karl Marx, Jacques Ellul and Jacques Camatte, it has created a theoretical amalgam. The theoretical amalgam explores the crucial role played by technology in the breakdown of community and the ascendancy of capitalism, and the way it links with capital in an over-arching system of domination. This chapter explores the concepts of 'capital' and 'megamachine'. Megamachines were forms of social organisation, organised by élites, with the aim of achieving particular ends that would be beyond the means of small-scale community activity.

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Changing anarchism

Anarchist theory and practice in a global age

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