User:Nicole Hametner/Reading, Writing & Research Methodologies 2012-TM1.03

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Gilles Deleuze, Postscript on the societies of control, 1990

Foucault’s disciplinary societies retained until the end of the 19th century had the fundamental idea of spaces of enclosure. As different enclosed environments count the family, the school, the barracks, the hospital, the factory and the prison. The main goal of the introduced discipline was to increase the efficiency in the factories. Deleuze writes that societies of control have substituted the disciplinary societies. One of the main differences in return to the idea of enclosure is the flow of the control and they now include the paradox of liberating and enslaving in the same time. While the enclosures from the disciplinary societies functioned like molds, control functions more in the sense of modulation. The factory is replaced by corporation, where the single worker is now being confronted with a constant competition in a perpetual training. Mentioning The Trial from Kafka, Deleuze compares the different modes of juridical life, while in the disciplinary society he is apparently acquitted, in the society of control there is a constant paranoid feeling of a suspended accusation. In society of control the number of each member is replaced by a code. It is about having access to information. Deleuze uses as comparison the animal of the mole in the spaces of enclosure and the serpent in the society of control. In this mutated form of capitalism, it is no longer about the production, but about dealing with services and buying stocks. The market has become the instrument for social control. Members of society are no longer imprisoned but controlled by their debt. In the last part of his text Deleuze introduces the electronic collar and compares an animal in the reserve with a man in a corporation in a society where tracking systems lead to universal regulations.