“Electronic Capitalism”

Debaprasad Bandyopadhyay

দেবপ্রসাদ বন্দ্যোপাধ্যায়

Indian Statistical Institute

January 17, 1999

Frontier, Vol. 31, No. 25, pp. 4-6, 1999

This paper Highlights on ‘Cyberspace’, an Electronic space simulated for communication network founded by post Industrialized Society, where the assembly line of mass production is not followed; producing standardized commodities following Fordian line has almost vanished and it is supplemented by non-standardized non-prototypical craft production; and in the realm of division labor, Taylorian paradigm is substituted by workshop-based flexible alternating division of labor. This deployment of high-tech in the simple commodity production is based on the linguistic corpus collected from the heterogeneous so-called locals and those local choices are stored in the computerized data-repertoire. Local choices are considered for the sake of creating niche market. Thus, the phenomenon of globalization (Global Local) that is operating within the cyberspace has emerged. This is also reflected in the languages of electronic ads. What author has referred to as Electronic Capitalism, subscribing the Print Capitalism a la Benedict Anderson, was elaborated in reference to the phenomenon “globalization”. What is this hyper-domain of cyberspace of communication? In the so-called global village, an exclusive interactive zone is created with the help of cybernetic science. This new communication space has emerged due to the introduction of electronic capitalism supplementing the print capitalism. Due to the proliferation as well as explosion of electronic industry, this new space enjoys a dominant position to enhance the quickest communication. Ideal speaker-hearer, though they are in physical Diaspora, communicate in the cyberspace and they are exchanging their languages as apparent reciprocal donor-receptors, and therefore, code mixing (cohabitation or encroachment?) is an usual phenomena in this cyberspace. Baudrillard (1975) aptly called this age as an ‘age of simulation”, third order of pretension, where he found signs as representation of themselves. In this third order, the sign of creative computer, without any signifier, endowed with human faculty, does not refer to anything outside itself, viz. creative speaking subject — a presence whose absence they mark — but rather serve to mask the absence of any exterior — the relation between the real and representation or “representational” imaginary is dissolved and hyper-realty of cyber-space begins, where any the self — referential signs emerges as real ‘reality’ by veiling the “real” self. Thus, intelligent computer or talking machines are “real” talking beings in this third order instead of speaking subjects. In this simulated cyberspace, non-signifying electronic devices endowed with human faculty re-inscribe a regime of phonocentrism Deluze and Guattari (1977) or some thing more than phonic, it may be termed as electrocentrism to cover all the possible manifestations of electronic media). Deluze and Guattari (1977) argued that the language and its subsequent semiotic process within the ambit of capitalism are not related to encoded signifying processes but it is concerned with decoded flows, i.e. the material flows of electric language, which is a simulacrum of something without semantic content. It is the capacity of modern language technology to acquire the power of fetish of “other” without being a participant in the other’s domain. Computer, an impersonal machine, now talks with the “other” by deploying, nor logocentric, neither phonocentric, but electrocentnic techno-discourse. This techno-discourse, in the realm of technical intelligentsia’s culture of critical discourse, has become algocentric meta discourse, i.e., a discourse, which is guided by the formal, computable, and algorithmic principles of meta mathematics.


Number of Pages in PDF File: 5

Keywords: algocentric discourse, electronic capitalism, electrocentrism, phonocentrism, cyberspace


About Debaprasad Bandyopadhyay

Debaprasad Bandyopdhyay (b. 1965), through his 25 years journey in the realm of institutionalized academics did 27 different types of works, which are someway different from the earlier paradigms or, one might say that those works are not only mere reproductions of his inherited institutionalized cultural capital or a mimicry of a colonially imposed model that leads to intellectual anorexia or rather a type falsification of earlier paradigms. However, that might be not only a lofty claim but it also hid the fact that all our information and knowledge are socially accumulated knowledge that was, it is matter of regret, posed as private property through the sign © and the wisdom is rarely available. Bandyopadhyay’s works and projects are the products of his social milieu. Bandyopadhyay is a local sub-altern public sphere academician, who avoids the technical intelligentsia (followers of Sahib’s models and they are not committed to the persons who are accommodating surplus work-time to them by performing surplus labour) or inorganic intellectuals and thus fails to be a part of academic tribe and its subsequent socialization process. Of course, that socialization process does not lead to legendary Socratic dialogue. He is also a political activist though he has not affiliated to any political parties as he was always talking about the corporatization of political parties within the money-sign-based democratic system. He is a regular participant in TV and radio talk-shows and documentary films, street-corners’ talks and International seminars on socio-political, psychological, linguistic, environmental and economic issues. He also writes editorial columns in newspapers. He is also a part of parallel academics as it is found in West Bengal’s Little Magazine Movement, though that was not counted as the part his academic pursuit by his parent institute. His parent institute justifiably does not believe in the domain of parallel academics as this unorganized sector does not directly contribute in the transactions of formal/organized print capitalist eco-enemy paper-publication. Though the dissemination of knowledge is also observed in this space of these parallel academics as all these writings in public sphere simultaneously influence the classroom-discourse and some of them are translated into English, French and Italian. Not only that, Bandyopadhyay also sought engagement with the people, who, by supplying their surplus labour, are sustaining his livelihood. Bandyopadhyay, a linguist by training and a Ph.D.-holder (1996), a junior lecturer (1999-2011) in an autonomous central government institute in India, tries his best for those from he has received and is receiving the manifestation of surplus labour by executing some self-funded projects on economic issues in West Bengal, India. Recently he has got a consolation promotion to the post of Assistant Professor. He has done following 27 research works: 1. Crippled Creativity: An inquiry into language, psyche, society: 2. VALENCY OF BANGLA VERB AND PROBLEM OF COMPOUND VERBS: 3. Archaeology of Bangla Grammar : 4. CAN COMPUTER SPEAK? 5. FUZZY LOGICAL EXPRESSION IN BANGLA : 6. FOLKLORE AND FOLK-LANGUAGE: MYTH OR REALITY? 7. HISTORICISM IN THE DISCOURSE OF BANGLA LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE 8. ABHABA, ECP, DELETION AND TRACE 9. SVATVA OR MY-NESS AND ECONOMIC ENTITLEMEMT 10. TRANSLATION STUDIES 11. MASCULINITY STUDIES 12. YAYATI & BABAR COMPLEX 13. SOCIO-ECONOMIC SURVEYS IN AGRICULTURE AND INDUSTRY IN WEST BENGAL 14. CONCEPT OF BODY IN INDIAN PHILOSOPHY AND ARCHITECTURE 15. THE CONCEPT OF ERROR (KHYATI) IN MAD-(WO)MEN’S LANGUAGE 16. THE CONCEPT OF PERCEPTUAL TIME AND GRAMMATICAL TIME IN BANGLA 17. BANGLA CALLIGRAPHY, LANGUAGE ART AND LINGUISTIC PEDAGOGY 18. WO(L)D SPACES: NON-EXISTENCE OF WORDS 19. ANEKANTA METHODS 20. SILENCEME: SILENT OTHER IN LINGUISTICS 21. IMAGINED BOUDARIES AND PRE-COLONIAL INDIAN IMAGI-NATION 22. MAKING OF THE INDIAN PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE 23. SEGMENTING THE SUPRASEGMENTALS : MUSICKING IN SPEAKING 24. INTERPRETING GENETIC STRUCTURE BY DEPLOYING LINGUISTIC STRUCTURE 25. GLOTTOPOLITICS OF LINGUISTIC SUBALTERNITY OR AN AGENDA FOR PLANNING FROM BELOW 26. SEMIOTICS OF PHOTOGRAPHY 27. SOCIOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY ACADEMICS
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