The idealized market was supposed to deliver ‘friction free’ exchanges, in which the desires of consumers would be met directly, without the need for intervention or mediation by regulatory agencies. Yet the drive to assess the performance of workers and to measure forms of labor which, by their nature, are resistant to quantification, has inevitably required additional layers of management and bureaucracy. What we have is not a direct comparison of workers’ performance or output, but a comparison between the audited representation of that performance and output. Inevitably, a short-circuiting occurs and work becomes geared towards the generation and massaging of representations rather than to the official goals of the work itself. Indeed, an anthropological study of local government in Britain argues that ‘More effort goes into ensuring that a local authority’s services are represented correctly than goes into actually improving those services’. This reversal of priorities is one of the hallmarks of a system which can be characterized without hyperbole as ‘market Stalinism’. What late capitalism repeats from Stalinism is just this valuing of symbols of achievement over actual achievement.[…]It would be a mistake to regard this market Stalinism as some deviation from the ‘true spirit’ of capitalism. On the contrary, it would be better to say that an essential dimension of Stalinism was inhibited by its association with a social project like socialism and can only emerge in a late capitalist culture in which images acquire an autonomous force. The way value is generated on the stock exchange depends of course less on what a company ‘really does’ and more on perceptions of and beliefs about, its (future) performance. In capitalism, that is to say, all that is solid melts into PR and late capitalism is defined at least as much by this ubiquitous tendency towards PR-production as it is by the imposition of market mechanisms.?
Mark Fisher
-Now the paperwork – -What if I don’t want to do the Ultimate, right away? Maybe I want to ease into this thing gently.-No you don’t.-I might. I might just want to ease into the activity, the idea of it.-it’ll be fine, said Rebecca.-you will be fine and no regrets, honestly. Jillian took me over to the desk.-No possible regrets, said Rebecca, just sign this, she handed me a sheaf of forms.-Jesus I don’t want to buy the place, I scanned the pages – 45 pages.-just fill in page 25 through28 and sign.-Pages 25 through 28, what is this?Rebecca took the pages of forms from my hand – look its simple stuff, here we’ll read it through. Jillian looked over her shoulder at the pages-weight?-what?- Say 110, Jillian said.-Height?-5’ 8’’, Jillian again.-Hair length?-What? Why?-Long, Jillian again.-Cup size?- O come on.- say C-how about say nothing, I was getting angry-Shaved or bikini or natural?-Fuck offRebecca ticked a box anyway – well she was at the waxing too. Why ask in fact?-Last menstrual cycle?- enough, enough, give me those papers-Yes ignore that, said Rebecca taking the pages away from my grasping hand-Tested? she said this to Jillian-Tested? What tested? What do you mean tested?-Yes, said Jillian, I forwarded a blood sample from the main island-You what!-You were sleeping.-Great now sign here, Rebecca handed me a page and a pen-Who has blood samples for a theme park?-Everyone-especially the staff, can’t have mi’lady getting STDsI took a breath-This is getting a bit weird guys are you sure? I mean, well this is a bit, weird.-We’re 100 and a million per cent sure, said Jillian- 100 million per cent, said Rebecca
Germaine Gibson