Deleuze's Postscript on the Societies of Control

Updated for Big Data and Predictive Analytics

in Theoria
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  • 1 Pace University, USA jbrusseau@pace.edu
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Abstract

In 1990, Gilles Deleuze published Postscript on the Societies of Control, an introduction to the potentially suffocating reality of the nascent control society. This thirty-year update details how Deleuze's conception has developed from a broad speculative vision into specific economic mechanisms clustering around personal information, big data, predictive analytics, and marketing. The central claim is that today's advancing control society coerces without prohibitions, and through incentives that are not grim but enjoyable, even euphoric because they compel individuals to obey their own personal information. The article concludes by delineating two strategies for living that are as unexplored as control society itself because they are revealed and then enabled by the particular method of oppression that is control.

Contributor Notes

James Brusseau (PhD, Philosophy) is author of books, articles, and digital media on the history of philosophy and ethics. He has taught in Europe, Mexico, and currently at Pace University near his home in New York City. As Director of the AI Ethics Site, a research institute currently incubating at Pace University, he explores the human experience of artificial intelligence. E-mail: jbrusseau@pace.edu

Theoria

A Journal of Social and Political Theory

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