Hegemony

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Description

BY SAM ADLER-BELL:

"Hegemony, as elaborated by the Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci, refers to the meanings and values that define the dominant common sense, and to the structures of political and economic power that combine to uphold the existing order. To be “political,” for Smucker, as for Gramsci, is to pose a challenge to the existing order, by articulating an alternative, aligning existing social blocs behind that articulation, and building sufficient political power to instantiate our values as a new common sense. We must, in other words, replace the existing hegemony with our own. " (https://newrepublic.com/article/142334/tough-love-letter-left)


Discussion

Technology is killing hegemony

John R. Dreyer:

"Technology is killing hegemony. The hegemonic state builds its power on control: control of culture, economics, politics and security. This control enables the hegemonic state to build and maintain influence. Control enables the creation of civil society that succeeds in tying the smaller powers to the sphere of hegemonic power. Technology allows individuals and non‐state groups to circumvent the control of the hegemonic state. These individuals and groups will often be able to filter into the state itself, drawing it out from under the umbrella of the hegemon. The creation of data islands and cloud computing plays a crucial part in the structural deepening of advanced communication in the form of social networking, sms texting and other peer to peer services. Consequently the ability to form new institutions through the connection of the rhizome is not just a possibility, but is happening right now. The world is becoming decentralized. New centers of innovation are being created in regions that can support them through locally produced energy and a population that is hungry to join the rest of the world on the buckboard of digital communication. These centers produce technology that is cheap, adaptable and, above all, affordable enabling it to become widespread. As more and more capital is invested in these new centers the hegemonic state begins to see less and less investment. The concentration will not happen in any particular state but will be spread around the globe. The ability to attract innovation without an extensive infrastructure will drive developing economies.

The concept of the rhizome is based on the notion of a root spreading out to connect with other roots in an unorganized, seemingly chaotic fashion. As technology becomes cheaper and more adaptable the rhizome will experience a growth spurt, a structural deepening that sees the world truly becoming globalized. Events like the “Twitter Revolution” will not be hindered by a limited user demographic or government control of communications infrastructure. As the hegemonic state strengthens their institutions to deal with these new forms of technology, a gamble to either compete effectively or to retard progress as much as possible, new roots will form and connect. These will in turn strengthen existing channels of communication, trade and culture and create new ones specifically designed to cater to things like cyber‐culture. The rhizome is undermining hegemonic control. As we see hegemonic institutions tightening their grip on digital communication technology within the hegemon the incentive to locate infrastructure elsewhere is increased. The era of hegemony is over ; era of the rhizome is here." (https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/36447565/Dreyer%20-%20Technology%20%26%20the%20Death%20of%20Hegemony.pdf)