McKenzie Wark – A Hacker Manifesto

McKenzie Wark

book – Harvard University Press – ISBN 0674015436
The perspective of hackers as a social class is undoubtely fascinating a fascinating one. Thinking to this group of people all over the world who have in common the pragmatism in manipulating the social and technological practices through often ingenious abstractions, with a radical libertarian utopia, makes all those who have chosen to banish the lethal couple consumerism / conformism from their lives feel united. On the other hand, the precarious condition of the temporary intellectual employees of the infosphere (the ‘cognitarianism’, as defined by Bifo) that many hackers are part of, is fragmented in thousands of contacts and partitioned in time units that make the creation of a collective class-consciousness very difficult. That’s why the wide ideological ‘call’ contained in this book, subdivided into 389 brief and sometimes striking paragraphs, streamlines the themes through enlightening bursts whose goal is to simplify the theory in a comprehensible way. Thus, even if its structure is like that of a ‘manifesto’, the marxist theories are applied to the infrastructure of information scientifically and clearly. This involves, among other things, the refusal of data commercialization, the abstraction of the productive processes of immaterial goods, the rethinking of the mechanisms of power inherent to the productive structure of knowledge, the critique of professional training as ideological subjection, and many other ruminations about the social economy of networks. The relevance and potential of hackers in the proper sense (those who believe in discovery, in the creation of ideas and freedom of expression) are always greater in a critical historic period, such as the shift to a society based mainly on information and data. This book can be another spark that could make possible a necessary cohesion and consciousness. This could prove essential because, united by a social condition, by a shared imagery and, most of all, by an enthusiasm which can produce great collective works, hachers remain one of the most concrete hopes for a change.