Deleuze: Postscript on the Societies of Control. Written in 1992, he saw something coming. Control is amorphous and without refrain. It’s present in wars against insurgents and financial crises and downsizings and venture capital rounds and unpaid internships and performance reviews and even in the media we use today.
Deleuze is way cynical, but he’s right about how companies work now. It’s not about being held accountable by the long arm of an institution; it’s instead about being part of a network of interactions that has its ultimate grounding in shareholder expectations. People are hired for their motivation, for evidence that they’re on board for the company’s larger project. They’re hired because they’ll find a way to fit in a constantly changing state of affairs.
We are taught that corporations have a soul, which is the most terrifying news in the world. The operation of markets is now the instrument of social control and forms the impudent breed of our masters. Control is short-term and of rapid rates of turnover, but also continuous and without limit, while discipline was of long duration, infinite and discontinuous. Man is no longer man enclosed, but man in debt.