Nick Dyer-Witheford, Svitlana Matviyenko – Cyberwar and Revolution: Digital Subterfuge in Global Capitalism


Univ. Of Minnesota Press, ISBN-13978-1517904111, English, 232 pages, 2019 USA

In the utopian phase of the early commercial Internet, it would have been hard to predict the current scale of online conflicts. Within the small circles of a mostly self-appointed libertarian techno-elite, the concern with maintaining freedom of global expression was primary and preemptive. A few decades later, the Internet has not only become the main infrastructure for effectively fighting global conflicts, but the single location where propaganda, recruitments and direct action takes place. Dyer-Witheford and Matviyenko take a specific angle in order to dissect the huge and chaotic scenario we’re experiencing today. They adopt the classic term ‘cyberwar’ to define it, extensively articulating this choice, which becomes an umbrella under which a small galaxy of concepts can be related and acknowledged. The multiple actions, campaigns, official authority statements and theoretical definitions, draw altogether a remarkable and inspiring abstract map, spanning the recent past and visions of the near future. The recurrent experience of personal hate and quick polarisations can then be understood as part of a complex system, where this ‘war’ becomes part of the everyday. This new condition is also analysed from a Marxist point of view, concluding with an effective final chapter simply entitled “What is to be done?”.