What society, what world was heralded by the advent of electronic information and communication? Since the end of World War II, this question has given rise to numerous hypotheses among social scientists of various disciplines, whether researchers or government advisers. The result is that theory has been enriched by a multitude of terms and neologisms that have tried to account for the current and future changes in the status-social, economic, and cultural-of these technologies. Examining the different interests that have presided over the production and use of these concepts, theories, and doctrines and drawing up their genealogy allows us to understand what has been and continues to be at issue in these upheavals in the modes of thinking about communication. Such upheavals are marked by either abrupt ruptures or progressive displacements in the meaning of “communication,” which has gone from a definition limited to the media to one with totalizing aspirations, from confinement in one industrial sector to promotion as the linchpin of a new society. The end result has been the displacement of the “ideology of progress” by the “ideology of communication.”
In this genesis, one man became in himself a paradigm: the Canadian Marshall McLuhan, who wrote in 1974:
At instant speeds the audience becomes actor, and the spectators become participants. On spaceship Earth or in the global theater the audience and the crew become actors, producers rather than consumers. They seek to program events rather than to watch them. As in so many other instances, these “effects” appear before their “causes.” At instant speeds the cause and effect are at least simultaneous, and it is this dimension which naturally suggests, to all those who are accustomed to it, the need to anticipate events hopefully rather than to participate in them fatalistically. The possibility of public participation becomes a sort of technological imperative which has been called “Lapp’s Law”: “If it can be done, it’s got to be done” — a kind of siren wail of the evolutionary appetite.1
McLuhan had developed this point of view six years earlier, in collaboration with Quentin Fiore, in a book entitled War and Peace in the Global Village.
The Vietnam War was then at its height. The whole world, the authors asserted, was experiencing the “first television war,” which meant “the end of the dichotomy between civilian and military. The public is now participant in every phase of the war, and the main actions of the war are now being fought in the American home itself.” It sufficed “merely to ride the surface of change like a surfboarder.” This “participation in depth” in the new environment that acted in lasting fashion on the sensorium, according to the two authors, explained why “all the non-industrial areas like China, India, and Africa are speeding ahead by means of electric technology.”2
In this vision of the “planetary village,” everything occurred by sole virtue of the technological imperative. From that point to the denial of the complexity of cultures and societies in which messages “landed” and produced effects was only one step, which other analysts, immersed in the war of ideas, did not hesitate to take. Seizing on this determinist conception, they read into it what they had already been convinced of for a long time: the new technologies of communication meant the end of ideologies and the rise of a new idea of social change that rendered totally obsolete the old obsession with political revolutions. For according to these followers of McLuhan and Fiore, the “communications revolution” had already begun to resolve the problems that political revolutions had never come close to resolving.
Thus the Venezuelan writer Arturo Uslar Pierri did not hesitate to cross the Rubicon in 1972 by asserting:
The world revolution has already begun in the United States…. The unprecedented political fact of the rejection by a great part of the people of the United States of the war in Vietnam, or the situation of the black minority, was not the fruit of any one particular political group, or of any precise ideology, or of an abrupt change in the management of public affairs. Fundamentally, it was the result of the volume, the intensity, and the range of the media…. The man in the street is first of all transformed into an eyewitness and then inevitably participates in these events which would have remained faraway and insignificant in other circumstances.
He concluded with this prophecy: “We will all succeed in participating in everything that happens and we will react accordingly, outside the bounds of ideology, models, and commands.”3
In 1972 the broad American public was tuned into the slogan of the “communications revolution.” This new leitmotif took off during the second half of the 1960s. To ensure its circulation among a mass audience, marketing and advertising agents did not bother with nuances, proclaiming from the outset: “The communications revolution which has taken place over the last seven years has stimulated the desire to consume, collective social responsiblity, youth revolt, the revolt of women, fashion revolt and the era of individual judgment: in short, a new society.”4
Throughout the world, the “communications revolution” would of course have its popularizers and technicians, but it would also have its writers and ideologues, avowed anticommunists, who in their best-selling books would turn the “technological revolution” into a new warhorse in their struggle against everything on their left, classifying those who were not in agreement with this new redemptive myth in the authoritarian camp.5
Because they were turned into frozen forms in the market of “instant thinking,” in which ideas of global apocalypse or catharsis circulate at an ever faster pace, McLuhan’s analyses, over time, lost the mark of their origins, as is well demonstrated by James W. Carey in his study of the genealogy of modern media theory.6 It was forgotten that they belonged to a precise intellectual tradition and that they had evolved a great deal since the Canadian author published his first book in 1951.7
His first writings left the door open to an examination of the potential for tightening of social control inherent in the new electronic technology. The more his work progressed, the more technological determinism took the upper hand and became an unbridled optimism, and the more his critique of “industrialism” eroded. More and more McLuhan also left behind the analysis of the vast cultural complexes in which technologies evolve and from which they derive their meaning. In addition, McLuhan’s thought cannot be explained without reference to its affiliations with contemporary or past authors, who inspired him, as he openly acknowledged, without his necessarily espousing all their ideas. The two crucial influences are the Canadian Harold Innis and the American Lewis Mumford. The latter, in turn, cannot be understood without reference to two other figures, the Russian geographer and anarchist Peter Kropotkin (1842-1921) and the Scot Patrick Geddes (1854-1932).
The analyses of Mumford, Geddes, and Kropotkin had begun in the 1920s to revolutionize the way of looking at the relation between city and country, and had opened the way to another concept of urban planning. All three had in common the same central concern and the same intuition: communications technologies are “extensions of man” and technological change is at the center of the history of civilization. Mumford, from his first work, Technics and Civilization (1934), borrowed from Geddes the distinction between the “paleotechnic” (steam-driven and mechanical technologies) and the “neotechnic” (electricity).8 He also later adopted Kropotkin’s utopia, prophesying that electricity would provide the way out of the machine era and restore the life of communities. Harold Innis was a sociologist, who, unlike the eclectic and publicity minded McLuhan, devoted himself to laying the foundations of a theory not only of the effects of technologies on society but also of the cause of innovations and changes in communications, with much reference to geography and economics.9 In The Gutenberg Galaxy (1962), doubtless his most important book, McLuhan goes so far as to say: “Harold Innis was the first person to hit upon the process of change as implicit in the forms of media technology. The present book is a footnote of explanation to his work.”10 This led one commentator on McLuhan’s work, Thomas W. Cooper, to remark that the famous slogan “The medium is the message” is a “daring distillation of Innis.”11
The thought of these writers, as James W. Carey notes, went in different directions: while McLuhan little by little lost the critical spirit of the first years and turned into a prophet of a new age of grace, Innis never lost sight of his project of renewing the political economy of the media; Mumford became more and more distant from his initial utopianism in which technical networks of communication were endowed with redemptive virtues. Above and beyond these thinkers’ different evolutions, one must remember that their major impact is to have exploded the postulate of the priority of content over form, that is, to have insisted on the fact that the medium itself determines the character of what is communicated and leads to a new type of civilization. This postulate, nurtured by pedagogues of Enlightenment philosophy and the “typographic men” of the Gutenberg galaxy, had for too long inhibited understanding of the nature of changes brought about by electronic networks.
“Reliance on television-and hence the tendency to replace language with imagery which is international rather than national, and to include war coverage or scenes of hunger in places as distant as, for example, India—creates a somewhat more cosmopolitan, though highly impressionistic, involvement in global affairs.”12 These words of Zbigniew Brzezinski, dating from 1969, show not only that one could conceive the problem of “participation” in a very different way but also that the enigma of the nature of the new cultural environment posed by McLuhan, which he thought he had resolved with a metaphor, was taxing a number of minds.
It was in fact in the 1960s that the first academic statements were made on the social, economic, and political nature of the technological mutation in communications and, consequently, on its new international dimension. Among the pioneers were Columbia University sociologist Daniel Bell and political scientist Zbigniew Brzezinski-also a Columbia professor, an expert on the problems of communism, and future national security adviser under President Jimmy Carter. To Daniel Bell is attributed the concept of “postindustrial society.” Brzezinski is credited with that of “technetronic society.” At the center of their concerns was how to anticipate and prepare for the future of the society that arose from the Industrial Revolution.
What these studies and many others dating from the 1960s and 1970s clearly had in common was their effort to escape from an exclusively media-oriented perspective, as it had been fashioned in the sociology of communication and mass culture, and to place the media in a larger context of a new technological system of “communications.”
While Bell’s book on postindustrial society dates from 1973, his thinking on the subject goes back further in time.13 It in fact began in 1959 with his first contributions to the Salzburg seminar. But it appears to be the Commission of the Year 2000 of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, established in the United States in 1965 and chaired by Bell himself, that brought these analyses into vogue. This commission had been created to pursue the work of futurologist Herman Kahn, a physicist by training.14 The term “postindustrial” is not Bell’s, however. It goes back to the 1920s and its inventor was the British socialist Arthur J.Penty, author of two books, Old Worlds for New: A Study of the PostIndustrial State and Postindustrialism.15
It was in an article published in 1968 that Bell identified in the postindustrial society five “dimensions” that distinguished it from the previous society: 1) the creation of a service economy (dominance of the tertiary sector); 2) the predominance of a class of specialists and technicians; 3) the importance of theoretical knowledge as the source of innovation and change (the development of products of new industries originates in work realized in the pure sciences, through what Bell called the “codification of theoretical knowledge”); 4) the creation of a “new technology of intelligence” with its panoply of tools such as systems analysis, games theory, decision theory, and so on; 5) the possibility of autonomous technological growth.16
Formulated in the 1960s, this definition presumed that preponderant tendencies registered in the course of these years of prosperity in the great industrial nations would continue under conditions of sustained, exponential growth. The vision is thus attributable in large part to the optimism of the era. It springs from a linear conception of history, shared as much by W.W. Rostow’s theory of modernization - to which we will return in the next chapter - as by the perspectives of Kahn’s Hudson Institute. The initial hypotheses of Bell that have most suffered from the social and economic evolutions of the 1970s are, first, those referring to the continuation of the “affluent society”; the unshakeable confidence in a science and technology both neutral and autonomous as the motor of social and industrial innovation, controlled in the final analysis by an elite of specialists; and finally, the everlasting character of the welfare state and the state as provider of funds to leading sectors of industry, in particular the “military-industrial complex.” The first hypothesis would soon be called into question by the energy crisis of 1973. As for the second, history was to remind us that everything that is technically feasible is not economically viable or socially acceptable. The state’s tendency to retreat and leave the field open to market mechanisms would strike the third hypothesis a stinging blow in the early 1980s. Along with it collapsed the idea of a class of state scientific advisers, planning society’s future from on high thanks to their theoretical wisdom.
Bell asserted that postindustrial society would stress two types of services, the “social services” (such as education, health, social security) and “professional services” (computing, systems analysis, and scientific research). One thing is clear: the strong growth tendency of these “social services,” which he observed in societies governed by notions of the welfare state and public service, has been widely supplanted, because of the crisis of these notions, by the spectacular development of “professional services.” In addition, the swelling of the tertiary sector by parasitic occupations and by services where arms and legs count more than intellectual functions, would tend to relativize the myth of the imminent advent of a service society based on the rising force of science and technology alone. “Tendency is not destiny,” said Lewis Mumford - but this idea had escaped the first generation of theoreticians of the postindustrial society in their search for an “ideal type” of future society.
Bell’s thinking is contemporaneous with another perspective, to the formalization of which it strongly contributed: that of the “end of ideology,” which complements his theory of postindustrial society.
In a book published in 1962, Bell had in fact settled his accounts with the question of ideology. “The most important latent function of ideology,” he wrote, “is to tap emotion…. Ideology fuses these energies [of masses] and channels them into politics.” 17 Like a number of political scientists such as Seymour Martin Lipset and Edward Shils, he arrived at the conclusion that in Western society, ideology, defined as the realm of emotions and of passion stimulated by class war, would no longer have a role to play, since the fundamental political problems posed by the organization of society and of industrial democracy had been resolved.18 Rationality reigned in societies of abundance, which defined themselves as stable. This was the reason they were on the road to a higher stage of postindustrial democracy and economy. The mission of Western societies was to stimulate the development of politically and economically free institutions, in their image and likeness, throughout the rest of the world.
The troublemakers in the scheme were the “intellectuals” who, unlike the “scientists” acting on the basis of “objectivity,” were fueled by subjectivity or ideology. The intellectual, wrote Bell, pushes into the forefront “his experience, his individual perceptions of the world, his privileges and deprivations, and judges the world by these sensibilities.”19 To move the social sciences out of this subjectivism, Bell speaks of the necessity of circumscribing with precision the “ideological and scientific components” of social theory. That is the price one must pay for attaining objectivity. By this measure, the ideologue is necessarily “someone else,” who is labeled a propagandist. The debate is therefore not really one at all, since the dice are loaded. They have been so since the first political use of the word “ideologue” in a disparaging sense by Napoleon, who, by deforming the word forged in 1796 by the philosopher [Antoine] Destutt de Tracy, thus designated the liberals who opposed his regime. Destutt de Tracy had created the term “ideologist” to characterize the political and philosophical group of which he was part. With Napoleon, ideology became a synonym for “hollow analysis or discussion of abstract ideas.”20
Many of the points in Bell’s diagnosis were not as original as they appeared. They had already provided the frame for the argument of Raymond Aron’s book L’opium des intellectuels (The opium of the intellectuals), published in 1955.21 Ideology is for Aron the contemporary expression of old millenarianisms. The chief exponents of this new form of millenarianism are seen by Aron as veritable religious leaders.
But at that time, the majority of the intellectual class of Europe was on the side of those who thought that the thesis of the death of ideologies was itself just an ideology. And those political scientists in the United States who did not refrain from expressing their misgivings with respect to Lipset, Bell, and his colleagues understood this well when one of them,J. La Pallombara, wrote in 1966:
[It was as if] ideology had necessarily to be effaced by the great leap in public education, the means of mass communication, the multiplication of dishwashers, cars and televisions One may say, without risk, that one could find thousands of European intellectuals, and tens of millions of other Europeans, who would react to this assertion with irony or total suspicion The assumption of this thesis is that the future will consist of national histories which will be the monotonous replications of “anglo-American” history. In short, they would have us believe that “they” are getting more like “us” every day.22
Europe in this period proved in fact that there were other readings of the phenomenon of “ideology.” Empiricism seemed to European intellectuals to be yet another version of the fetish of science. In the 1950s Roland Barthes had, in his Mythologies23, demystified the claim that this particular conception of the world and of society was situated outside ideology. “Bourgeois ideology,” he wrote,
is of scientistic or the intuitive kind, it records facts and perceives values, but refuses explanations; the order of the world can be seen as sufficient or ineffable, it is never seen as significant. Finally, the basic idea of a perfectible mobile world produces the inverted image of an unchanging humanity, characterized by an indefinite repetition of identity. In a word, in the contemporary bourgeois society, the passage from the real to the ideological is defined as that from an anti-physis to a pseudo-physis.24
The notion of myth appeared to Barthes to account for this passage from the real to the ideological. Myth voids social phenomena of their reality, deprives them of their history, and domesticates them by integrating them into “the nature of things.” In doing so, myth renders innocent and purifies the existing order, and passes off its subjectivity and singularity as parameters of objectivity and universality-the law of some as the law of all. It can easily be seen that this approach to the ideological is scarcely compatible with that other one, consecrated not only by Bell but by the whole of empiricist sociology. The contrast is demonstrated by this definition taken from the American Dictionary of Social Sciences in its 1964 edition: “Ideology is a pattern of beliefs and concepts (both factual and normative) which purport to explain complex social phenomena with a view to directing and simplifying socio-political choices facing individuals and groups.”25 We see better, too, why there was such a misunderstanding regarding the myth of the end of ideologies, deeply rooted in the conservative tradition, and why this myth had such a long life. It recurs systematically in every period in which there is an attempt to silence all those who believe that the world is perfectible and that the invariable cannot be the premise of all variations. Is there any better proof that ideology does exist and can surely not be defined narrowly as “a simplifying model to direct choices”? To be convinced of its vitality, one need only invoke the latest of its avatars, the myth of the “end of history,” recycled at the end of 1989 by Francis Fukuyama, strategy expert at the U.S. State Department. The fact that transistor radios have become a common item in China, that Mozart serves as background music in Japanese supermarkets, and that rock music in Prague was an expression of revolt against a moribund Stalinist ideology was for this 36-year-old neoconservative an irrefutable sign of the democratic homogenization of the world under the sign of Western capitalism.26 As the cover of New Republic retorted: “Is History over? Tell it to Peru.”
The argument of subjectivism used by Bell and his colleagues to discredit critical sociology in the name of science is a clone of the argument brandished by the bureaucrats of the Eastern countries against dissident intellectuals who, despite harassment and the threat of the gulag, continued to do their job of being thinkers of society. And the mystical belief in science and technology was at least as powerful among establishment sociologists such as Bell, Rostow, and Kahn, with their theory of scientific and technical revolution, as among their Eastern European colleagues of the nomenklatura who elevated science to the status of a “direct productive force.”
With Brzezinski, we enter into the geopolitics of empire in the age of scientific and technological revolution. In contrast to Bell, whom he recognizes as a precursor, Brzezinski in his book Between Two Ages, subtitled America’s Role in the Technetronic Era, examines world-space and the space occupied by the U.S. superpower in its competition with the other superpower, the Soviet Union. As the title makes plain, the United States was going through a transition period. It was the first country to leave the industrial era and enter the “technetronic era,” a neologism he preferred to Bell’s expression because it seemed to him to express better and more directly the principal forces behind the change. Brzezinski stresses that, just as one did not refer to the industrial society that followed agricultural society as a “postagricultural society,” it is preferable to designate the new era and the new society with a term proper to it. The “technetronic society” is a “society that is shaped culturally, psychologically, and economically by the impact of technology and electronics-particularly in the area of computers and communications.”27 The technological characteristics he brings out do not differ substantially from those noted by Bell, but his analysis privileges the new social and cultural complexity. At the root of this complexity is the global character of political processes. In the era of classic international politics, the four factors of power and integration were essentially national in scope: weapons, means of communication, economy, and ideology. These four factors are now becoming worldwide in character.
The notion of globalness is therefore central. Its “obvious, immediate cause” is communications. Means of communication and computers had created “an extraordinarily interwoven society” whose paradox is that reality (but also humanity) is growing unified and fragmented at the same time. “While our immediate reality is being fragmented,” writes Brzezinski, “global reality increasingly absorbs the individual, involves him, and even occasionally overwhelms him.”28
Brzezinski ventured to predict, however, that the new reality would not be that of the “global village,” because “McLuhan’s striking analogy overlooks the personal stability, interpersonal intimacy, implicitly shared values, and traditions that were important ingredients of the primitive village.”29 The analogy of the “global city” seemed to him to respond better to the technetronic society: “global city” because it is “a nervous, agitated, tense, and fragmented web of interdependent relations.” Rather than speaking of relations of intimacy, one should speak of reciprocal influence, that is, “interdependence,” another key concept for Brzezinski. It is not his invention, but with him it enters into the operational references of the diplomacy of international economy. By 1945, the word “interdependence” had made its reappearance; the political scientist Christian Richard was to suggest a biomorphic analogy. It was to be conceived as a solidarity of an organic type, resting on the differentiation of functions and the division of labor as they exist among organs of a living body. By introducing this term into the language of political philosophy, Richard thought that it would be henceforth impossible to establish a durable peace while conserving for each nation the right to absolute sovereignty.30 Brzezinski, for his part, began to think that this political level of meaning was not sufficient and that the technetronic revolution demanded the reordering of international economic relations. With the legitimation of a new world division of labor came the legitimation of the freedom of action of multinational corporations, those great economic units whose expansion does not easily harmonize with the defense of the idea of sovereignty.
If Brzezinski refused to adhere to McLuhan, it was precisely because the interdependence within the “global nervous system” is afflicted with “occasional malfunctions because of blackouts or breakdowns,” unlike “the mutual confidence and reciprocally reinforcing stability that are characteristic of village intimacy.”31 As for the notion of “homogeneity” in the modern world of tomorrow, nothing could be less certain. On the one hand, it is strongly threatened by “intellectual fragmentation,” that is, the growing gap between the pace of expansion of knowledge and that of its assimilation. This “raises a perplexing question concerning the prospects for mankind’s intellectual unity.” What must be avoided at all costs is that the homogeneity be that “of insecurity, of uncertainty, and of intellectual anarchy”-all factors of instability.32
“The first global society in history” was the United States. It is “the principal global disseminator of the technetronic revolution.” It is the society that “communicates” more than any other, since 65 percent of total world communications originate there, and it is furthest ahead in the development of a world information grid. But above all, it is the only country to have succeeded in proposing a global model of modernity, of patterns of behavior and universal values. Precisely because of the global character of U.S. society, according to Brzezinski, it is increasingly inadequate to speak of its world influence and its relation with other peoples in terms of “imperialism.” This term is useful, he believes, only for the brief period of a “transitory and rather spontaneous response to the vaccuum created by World War II and to the subsequent felt threat from communism.” The spread of the technological and scientific revolution “made in the U.S.A.” has radically changed the terms of the problem. The strength of this revolution is such that it “compels imitation of the more advanced by the less advanced and stimulates the export of new techniques, methods, and organizational skills from the former to the latter.”33
In the history of the concepts and conceptions that have molded thought on the role of communicating machines in social organization, a scientist had the first intuition of the structuring character of the new technology: Norbert Wiener, the father of cybernetics. In his work Cybernetics: Control and Communication in the Animal and Machine (1948), written when the world was scarcely at the dawn of computer science, he diagnosed that future society would be organized around “information.” At this time was constituted the stock of arguments that would be used in the following decades by the extreme partisans of computerization as well as by its adversaries.34
There is nothing abnormal about this ambivalence. Wiener in fact presented the novel ideal of an “information society” while putting us on guard against the risks of its perversion. The main enemy was entropy, that is, the tendency of nature to destroy what is ordered and to precipitate biological degradation and social disorder. As Wiener wrote in his introduction: “The notion of the amount of information attaches itself very naturally to a classical notion in statistical mechanics: that of entropy. Just as the amount of information in a system is a measure of its degree of organization, so the entropy of a system is a measure of its degree of disorganization; and the one is simply the negative of the other.”35 Information, the machines that process it, and the networks they weave are alone in the fight against entropy. The information society can only be a society where information circulates without impediment. It is by definition incompatible with embargo or secrecy, inequality of access, and the transformation of everything that moves in channels of communication into commodities. The persistence of these factors can only favor the advance of entropy-in other words, push back progress.
Although he was abstract in his exposition of the laws of a modern theory of communication, Wiener became hyperconcrete when it came to designating the obstacles to a free circulation of information. Thus, in the final chapter of the original edition of his book, Wiener was implacable in his analysis of the institutions of power. At the same time, he showed us what he understood by the links between “information, language, and society,” the title of the concluding chapter. “Of all the anti-homeostatic factors in society,” he wrote,
the control of means of communication is the most efficient and the most important. One of the lessons of the present book is that any organism is held together in this action by the possession of means for the acquisition, use, retention, and transmission of information. In a society too large for the direct contact of its members, these means are the press, both as it concerns books and as it concerns newspapers, the radio, the telephone system, the telegraph, the posts, the theater, the movies, the schools, and the church Thus on all sides we have a triple constriction of the means of communication: the elimination of the less profitable means in favor of the more profitable; the fact that these means are in the hands of the very limited class of wealthy men, and thus naturally express the opinion of that class; and the further fact that, as one of the chief avenues to political and personal power, they attract above all those ambitious for such power. That system which more than all others should contribute to social homeostasis is thrown directly into the hands of those most concerned in the game of power and money.36
Transparency, the refusal of social exclusion, and questioning the logic of the market: here in any case are three issues present in Wiener but absent from the thinkers of postindustrial or technetronic society.
From a more specialized perspective, a small number of economists tried, during the 1960s and early 1970s, to give a more precise content to the generic term “information.”
One of the more serious efforts is the one undertaken by a specialist in the evaluation of the balance of payments, Fritz Machlup, an economics professor at New York University and formerly at Princeton. His book, which appeared in 196237 and was still a standard work of reference 30 years later, studies the production and distribution of knowledge in the United States, an economic activity that weighs more and more significantly in the national budget. Although all information in the ordinary sense of the word is knowledge, according to Machlup, all knowledge cannot be called information. His analytic schema distinguished five types of knowledge: 1) practical knowledge, useful in a person’s work, decisions, and actions (professional, business, or trade-related knowledge, as well as political and household knowledge); 2) intellectual knowledge, which satisfies intellectual curiosity, as part of liberal education, scientific training, or general culture, and which requires “active concentration”; 3) small-talk and “pastime” knowledge, which satisfies the desire for light entertainment and emotional stimulation (local gossip, jokes, news of crimes and accidents, light novels, stories, games) or anything that demands only a passive attitude; 4) spiritual knowledge, related to religion; and 5) unwanted knowledge, accidentally acquired and not long retained. All these categories constitute the basis of what he calls “the knowledge industry.”
In the discussion of his criteria of classification, one point particularly revealing of the change then in progress is the very definition of culture, which was more and more bound up with the apparatus of mass culture. Also revealed was the unease it created in an elderly economist in quest of a parameter. Machlup admitted his bias — and foresaw the objections of “snobbery” or “elitism” that would be leveled at him — in separating “entertainment” from high culture. He refused to rally to the official terminology that lumps together, under the heading of “entertainment,” films as well as opera and concerts as well as variety shows. He also thought he had resolved a dilemma already faced by one of his colleagues, Anthony Downs: not wanting to settle the question once and for all, Downs had seen fit to weld the two terms together with the term entertainment knowledge and thus to amalgamate the two notions.38 This same prejudice prompted Machlup to classify advertising under the heading “unwanted knowledge”!
The other entry point chosen by Machlup in dividing the knowledge industry into different categories was the occupational approach. Drawing up an inventory of different types of “communicators” or “producers of knowledge,” he enumerates six: 1) the transporter, who delivers a message without changing it; 2) the transformer, who changes the form of the message, as the stenographer does; 3) the processor, who changes form and content, but only by following routine procedures (rearrangement, combinations, calculations), such as an accountant preparing statements; 4) the interpreter, who changes form and content by using his or her imagination, as, for example, a translator; 5) the analyzer, who uses her or his own judgment and intuition in addition to accepted procedures in such a way that the transmitted message will have little or no resemblance to the one received; and 6) the original creator, who, from a store of received information from messages of all kinds, adds his or her inventive genius and creative imagination in such a way that there is little in common between what is received from others and what he or she then communicates.
Starting with this conceptual schema, Machlup analyzes in detail the activities and occupations of the “knowledge industry” and evaluates their contributions to the national product: “education” as “knowledge acquisition” (from formal education, or education in private or public school, to training on the job, instruction in church or training in the armed services); “research and development” (basic research and applied R and D); the “media of communication” (printed matter, photography and phonography, cinema, stage, broadcasting, advertising and public relations, postal service, telegraph and telephone, conventions); “information machines” in use in the three sectors of education, R and D, and die communication industries (printing trade machinery, musical instruments, motion picture apparatus and equipment, telephone and telegraph equipment, signaling devices, measuring and controlling instruments, typewriters, electronic computers); “information services” offered by professionals (legal, engineering and architectural, accounting and auditing, medical); “financial services” (banking, securities brokerage, insurance, real estate); the intelligence services of wholesale traders; and government services.
Machlup notes the difficulty of circumscribing statistically all the constitutive elements of the knowledge industry. Among the insurmountable obstacles is the existence of services that are not objects of market transactions. This is particularly true when it comes to evaluating the cost of government-subsidized public education. “Most of the services of the knowledge industry,” he writes, “are not sold in the market but instead distributed below cost or without charge, the cost being paid for in part or in full by government (as in the case of public school) Hence we lack the valuations which for most other industries the consumer puts on the product by paying a price for it. There are no ‘total sales’ and no selling prices.” Despite the lack of reliability of some of the available statistics, Machlup arrives at the following diagnosis: between 1940 and 1959, the work force of the United States grew by 23 percent while those occupied in the knowledge industry increased by 80 percent; the group of managers and civil servants registered the biggest increase (103 percent). As for the proportion of the knowledge industry in the gross national product, it represented, in the late 1950s, approximately 29 percent. In the course of the preceding years, its annual rate of increase (10.6 percent) had been double that of the GNP, with production in other sectors counting for 4.1 percent.
Machlup hoped that his study would serve as a basis for a reform of the educational system whose productivity he measured. He was not aiming to make a direct contribution to debates that had already made the structural leap of speaking not only of “industry” but also of the “information society” (or its numerous synonyms). Nothing in the work of this pioneer of economic measurement links him to that sort of theoretical perspective on the future of society.
On the other hand, developing such a perspective was the central concern of the report by Marc Uri Porat published in July 1977 by the U.S. government in no less than nine volumes. Its object was to define and measure the weight of the economy of information in American society.39 After having noted more than 70 industries and over 6,000 products that could in one way or another be classified as “information,” it arrived at the conclusion that in 1967, primary and secondary information-the classification depending on whether the information was exchanged on the market or not-constituted 46 percent of the GNP of the United States, with 25 percent coming from the production, processing, and distribution of goods and services of information, and 21 percent from the production of information services by private and public bureaucracies for their internal use. “Information workers” alone earned more than 53 percent of the aggregate wages. The industrial sector, which still represented around 40 percent of the economy in 1946, counted for no more than 25 percent of the work force some twenty years later. The information sector had shot up to 47 percent.
Marc Porat divided information services into three fundamental categories: 1) financial information, insurance, and accounting as well as information contained in data bases; 2) cultural information (films, television, radio, books, newspapers, magazines, news bulletins); and 3) knowledge-information (patents, management, advice). In “knowledge,” he thus included all “know-how” and “show-how,” organizational experience, scientific and technical information, and management information. In 1973, the export of “knowledge” represented almost ten times that of films and television programs. This led Porat to state that henceforth the problem of a country’s cultural dependence would become more complex because “a technological system of production, once installed, is a most enduring cultural artefact.”40 He pointed to the implications of this new situation for the formulation of U.S. foreign policy, referring explicitly to the accusations of “cultural imperialism” that, at the time, were leveled by major international organizations.
It was in the second half of the 1970s that these perspectives started to make real inroads in Europe, among international institutions and in governments. Three anecdotes are worth recalling. First, the meeting of experts organized in Paris in 1975 by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to discuss the implications of the marriage of computer technology and telecommunications based its discussion on some documents drafted by the sociologist Ithiel de Sola Pool, Marc Porat, and one of his collaborators, Edwin Parker-all three Americans;41 second, the first colloquium on social science research in the realm of telecommunications in April 1977, sponsored by the French National Center for Study of Telecommunications (CNET) and with the collaboration of the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), counted among its rare foreign guests the same Ithiel de Sola Pool;42 and finally, Daniel Bell was one of the stars-by video link-up-of the weeklong symposium on “Computers and Society” that took place in Paris in the fall of 1979.
Such events merely translated into French the effervescence already surrounding these themes. In 1978 appeared a report by Simon Nora and Alain Minc, entitled L’informatisation de la societe (The computerization of society), commissioned two years earlier by President Giscard d’Estaing. For the first time in Europe, a major industrial country fully measured the importance of the technological change and formulated the broad lines of a national policy in this area. Only one other government had up to then produced a comparable document: Japan, in 1970, with its superministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI). It published another such report in 1979, a year that also saw the proposals of the Clyne Commission in Canada. Meanwhile, Tokyo had already drawn operational lessons and taken measures designed to encourage the expansion of its electronic firms abroad. In 1972, this ministry proposed to the Diet a law for the protection of foreign Japanese investments.
From the French report came the term telematique (telematics), fruit of the growing interpenetration of computer technology (in French, informatique) and telecommunications. To confront an economic and political crisis that they did not hesitate to qualify as civilizational, Nora and Minc proposed investing in the new information technologies. Telematics would open a “radically new horizon, because it conveys information, which is power.” Because of its structuring role, information would preside over the establishment of a “new global mode of regulating society.” This “new nervous system of organizations and of an entire society” would “recreate the informational agora, enlarged to the dimension of the modern nation.” The new telematic networks were situated at the heart of the redefinition of relations between citizen and State, between civil society and state. The decentralizing virtues of telematics were expected to protect the fragile equilibrium between the uncontested dominion of public authority and the self-management of citizens and thus to allow the full blossoming of civil society.
This therapeutic vision of the technology of information as guarantor of the reconstruction of social consensus was accompanied by an industrial strategy for developing the telecommunications-computing tandem. The new technologies were seen as the means for a New Deal: the realization of this anticrisis strategy seemed inevitable to the authors of the report if France wished to keep her place in an increasingly global market and in the context of mounting competition. On the horizon could be seen the specter of the supremacy of IBM, the “IBM challenge.” Arguing for a policy of national independence, Nora and Minc wrote:
Data banks are often international, and the development of transmissions allows access to them without excessive tariff penalties from any point on the globe. Hence the temptation in some countries to utilize American data banks without setting up their own. Indifference to this phenomenon is based on the belief that this dependence will be no stronger and no more disturbing than for any other type of supply. But the risk here is of a different character. Information is inseparable from its organization and its mode of storage Knowledge will end up by being shaped, as it always has been, by the available stock of information. Leaving to others - i.e., to American data banks-the responsibility for organizing this “collective memory,” while being content to plumb it, is to accept a form of cultural alienation. Installing data banks is an imperative of national sovereignty.43
Two official reports in the early 1980s, more specific about the flow of data across borders, would confirm this diagnosis on the international stakes of the control of these flows.44 “The essential stake,” warned the president of the Commission française sur les flux transfrontieres des donnees, Alain Madec, in 1980, “remains the disposition of territory on a world scale, and in particular the localization of the higher tertiary activities: ’the brain of the planet.”45
The second report about knowledge in the most developed societies, written in 1979 by the philosopher Jean-Franc;:ois Lyotard at the request of the Council of Universities of the government of Quebec and published under the title La condition postmoderne (The postmodern condition), also stressed that knowledge was “the major stake, maybe the most important, in the world competition for power.” But Lyotard mainly examined what seemed to him an effect of the progress of science: the crisis of “certain social categories delegated to the functions of critical subject” (the Third World, parties, student youth, eponyms of the revolution, the great hero, etc.), and the parallel crumbling of what he called the metanarratives, the grand narratives of legitimation, great perils, great journeys, and the major goals (for example, the discourse of the Enlightenment, that of Hegel on the fulfillment of Spirit, or that of the Marxists on the emancipation of the workers). This crisis, he predicted, would increasingly undermine the function of nation-states:
The notion that learning falls within the purview of the state as the brain or mind of society will become more and more outdated with the increasing strength of the opposing principle, according to which society exists and progresses only if the messages circulating within it are rich in information and easy to decode. The ideology of communicational “transparence,” which goes hand in hand with the commercialization of knowledge, will begin to perceive the state as a factor of opacity and “noise.”46
Linking the change in the function of states with the rise in power of a new type of knowledge elite, the philosopher concluded:
For brevity’s sake, suffice it to say that the functions of regulation, and therefore of reproduction, are and will be further withdrawn from administrators and entrusted to machines. Increasingly, the central question is becoming who will have access to the information these machines must have in storage to guarantee that the right decisions are made. Access to data is, and will continue to be, the prerogative of experts of all stripes. The ruling class is and will continue to be the decision makers.47
Interpreting Lyotard’s hypotheses about a future composed only of small narratives of legitimation as a determinist exhortation to distrust the slightest inclination to concerted social action, psychoanalysts such as Felix Guattari did not fail to see in this diagnosis of the postmodern condition the “paradigm of all submission, all compromise with the existing status quo.”48
Only isolated thinkers such as Jacques Ellul dissented from the idea that electronic technologies would play the role of social prosthesis.49 For some time already, Ellul’s ideas had traveled beyond the limits of the French arena and begun to influence American thought on the ethics of technical progress. Since the early 1950s, this Protestant thinker suggested that technology, which was formerly only a “means,” had become a “milieu.” Only by taking into account the social function that new “thinking machines” are destined to play was it possible in his view to understand the implications of technology as mediator. Profoundly skeptical about the democratic potential of these new forms of purely technical integration, he has never stopped denouncing the severe social imbalances that this “milieu,” which had become a veritable technicist system, was causing for citizens. For Ellul, who did not shrink from speaking of the “technological bluff,” the wired-up society is a new form of social management, in which what predominates are collections of individuals with no interaction other than that created by and through technology.
Defense specialists added a new term to the national sovereignty equation put forward by the Nora-Minc Report: Western security. “Having lost control of energy sources and primary materials,” wrote the former French ambassador to NATO in 1978, “are we now vulnerable and threatened? … One countermeasure should doubtless be that the West devote itself more and more to activities that best use the most grey matter and the highest technicity…. If it is possible for developing countries to acquire our technologies, it is almost exclusively in the West that these are elaborated and refined. Should we envisage a nontransfer of our advantages if the resources necessary to us are refused us?”50
Security, national security, vulnerability: these terms would haunt the discourse of numerous states on the role of information technologies. This was true in the superpowers as well as in smaller states not tempted by hegemonic ambitions.
In 1980 Sweden produced a very controversial report bearing the title The Vulnerability of the Computerized Society. Its central idea was that the economy is in danger of breaking down because computer systems are vulnerable to acts of war, terrorism, economic embargo, and to error. The authors of the report recommended that the government conceive legislation that would provide the country with an effective mechanism for prevention and for action in case of crisis. They proposed drawing up a list of “K-enterprises,” that is, the companies that were most dependent on electronic information and therefore most likely to become targets. They even argued that in case of an “information breakdown,” only 15 percent of the national potential for production and distribution would continue to function.51
In 1983 the U.S. Senate issued its report on the broad lines of a foreign policy in the domain of information and telecommunications.52 This official document led to the 1982 Amendment to the Communications Act, an important reform of the basic law on the U.S. communications system, originally passed in 1934. The Senate had been assigned the mission of drawing up an inventory of the problems that the new hegemony of “information” as a raw material risked engendering for the “political and economic security” of the United States. This measure was passed in the context of growing protectionist attitudes expressed by countries in the large international organizations in the name of national sovereignty. The report took the opposite position, resting on the doctrine that only the principles of the free flow of information and competition on the open market could guarantee the protection of everyone’s interests, beginning with those of the United States.
In any event, it was not until 1991, at the time of the Gulf War, that the major industrial countries discovered the real complexity of the relation between security and transfer of knowledge. The fear of renewed military confrontation with a regional power led them to postulate the necessity of the “nonproliferation” of “destabilizing technologies.” It was therefore necessary to reduce the export of so-called double-use technologies, that is, those that could be diverted by the importing country to bring its own arsenal up to date.53 The countries of the South quickly saw in this proposition a way of stopping their development in the area of high technologies.54 Was it not through the initial transfer of technology that large countries such as India and Brazil were able to develop their own computing and space industries or to produce fiber optics?55 It is also true, of course, that the appropriation of foreign technologies has propelled the Latin American giant into the club of the six foremost arms exporters in the world.
What would Zbigniew Brzezinski think more than twenty years after the publication of Between Two Ages, having returned to his studies after Jimmy Carter’s reelection failure? A question was put to him in December 1990 by Michel Foucher, a French specialist in geopolitics: Do you believe that the dominant factor of power in the 1990s will be military potential, economic success, or cultural or ideological influence? Brzezinski’s reply:
The military factor will surely lose its importance, with the disappearance of the Soviet threat. Consequently, it is possible that economic success and cultural influence will assume greater and greater importance. Which brings us back to the question of ideology. I think that today we risk believing too naively in models of wealth and market freedom of the United States, Japan, and Germany. Whatever the case, the basis of American power is in large part its domination of the world market of communications. Eighty percent of the words and images that circulate in the world come from the United States.56
The political and economic debacle of the communist countries has changed the situation from top to bottom. It sealed the failure of the internationalist project dreamed of by Marx and Engels in their Manifesto as a counterpoint to the supranational vocation of capital. The utopia of internationalism conceived as the abolition of the nation did not prove strong enough to prevent the successive fissures in the solidarity between “proletarians of all countries,” which the founders of the doctrine imagined as a “class without national interests.” Not only did “the nation” and “nationalism” gain in strength in the countries that had earlier subscribed to internationalism, but the state and its “bureaucratic and military machine,” whose disappearance Marx predicted under the reign of communism, invaded society to the point of strangling it.
Communist universalism succumbed to communist dogmatism and became a communism of sects and of mutual excommunications. In 1979, examining the “societies which secrete boredom” and their inadequate transition to modernity, Brzezinski wrote presciently:
The tragedy of communism as a universal perspective is that it came both too early and too late. It was too early to be a source of true internationalism, because mankind was only just awakening to national self-awareness and because the limited technological means of communication available were not yet ready to reinforce a universal perspective. It came too late for the industrial West, because nationalism and liberal concepts of state-reformism preempted its humanist appeal through the nation-state. It came too early for the preindustrial East, where it served as the ideological alarm clock for the dormant masses, stimulating in them increasingly radical nationalism.57
On the other hand, what the theoretician of the technetronic society could not foresee was the durability, in the era of the “global city,” of the old “gunboat diplomacy” that he had declared obsolete, in spite of the rise of “network diplomacy.” In other words, there was still a tension between geopolitics and geoeconomics, or between political logics and financial ones in the setting of the rules of the new world order.
With the perspective provided by the Gulf War and the struggle for control of world oil supplies, one could better measure the pitfalls of discourse on high-tech information as the way out of economic crisis. In such discourse, information is presented as a new primary material that is replacing the traditional energy sources as the line of demarcation between rich and poor. The cleavage between rich and poor countries has in fact never ceased to mark the history of strategies and theories of international communication, thus exposing the hidden side of progress, that is, the one left in the shadows by the ideology of redemptive technology.
Adam Curtis, 2011
You can watch all three episode here → watchdocumentaries.com
M. McLuhan, “At the Moment of Sputnik the Planet Became a Global Theater in Which There Are No Spectators but Only Actors,” Journal of Communication 24, no. 1, Winter 1974, p. 57.↩︎
M. McLuhan and Q. Fiore, War and Peace in the Global Village, New York, Bantam, 1968, pp. 128, 136.↩︎
A. Uslar Pietri, “Las comunicaciones como revolución,” Vision 40, no. 8, April 22, 1972.↩︎
E. B. Weiss, “Advertising Nears a Big Speed-up in Communications Innovation,” Advertising Age, March 19, 1973, p. 52.↩︎
See the work of a classical author in this genre, that is, one who has little sense of nuance: Jean-Francois Revel, Ni Marx, ni Jesus. Paris, Laffont, 1971. For a close analysis of anticommunism and its media construction in Europe in the 1970s, one may read the works (of which there is no equivalent in France) of P. Elliott and P. Schlesinger, “Some Aspects of Communism as a Cultural Category,” Media, Culture and Society 1, 1979, pp. 195-210; D. Childs (ed.), The Changing Face of Western Communism, London, Croom Helm, 1980.↩︎
L. Mumford, Technics and Civilization, New York, Harcourt, Brace & World, 1934.↩︎
H. Innis, The Bias of Communication, Toronto, Toronto University Press, 1951; Empire and Communications, Toronto University Press, 1972.↩︎
M. McLuhan, The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man, Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 1962, pp. 63-64.↩︎
T. W. Cooper, “McLuhan and Innis: The Canadian Theme of Boundless Exploration,” Journal of Communication 31, no. 3, Summer 1981, p. 155.↩︎
Z. Brzezinski, Between Two Ages: America’s Role in the Technetronic Era, New York, Viking Press, 1970, p. 13.↩︎
D. Bell, The Coming of Post-Industrial Society, New York, Basic Books, 1973.↩︎
H. Kahn and A. J. Wiener, The Year 2000: A Framework for Speculation on the Next Thirty-three Years, Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y., Hudson Institute, 1967.↩︎
On this genesis, see M. Marien, “Les deux visions de la societe post-industrielle,” Futuribles, no. 12, Fall 1977.↩︎
D. Bell, “The Measurement of Knowledge and Technology,” in Indicators of Social Change, ed. E. Sheldon and W. Moore, New York, 1968. Reprinted in The Coming of Post-Industrial Society, Bell himself reports that the original formulation of the concept of postindustrial society was presented by him at a forum on technology and social change in Boston in 1962 in a paper that remained unpublished.↩︎
D. Bell, The End of Ideology, New York, The Free Press, 1962, p. 371.↩︎
S. M. Lipser, Political Man, London, Heinemann, 1960; E. Shils, “The End of ldeology?” Encounter, November 1955. By the same author: “Ideology and Civility,” in The Intellectuals and the Powers, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1972.↩︎
Bell, End of Ideology, p. 372.↩︎
A. Lalande, Vocabulaire technique et critique de la philosophie, Paris, PUF, 1956.↩︎
R. Aron, L’opium des intellectuels, Paris, Calmann-Levy, 1955.↩︎
J. La Palombara, “Decline of Ideology: A Dissent and an Interpretation,” American Political Science Review 60, no. 1, March 1966, p. 14.↩︎
R. Barthes, Mythologies, sel. and trans. A. Lavers, London, Paladin-Grafton Books, 1973, pp. 154-55. On the effacement of ideologies in pluralist democracy, see Pierre Ansarr, Ideologies, conflits et pouvoir, Paris, PUF, 1977.↩︎
J. Gould and W. L. Kolb, Dictionary of the Social Sciences, New York, The Free Press, 1964, p. 315.↩︎
F. Fukuyama, “The End of History?” The Public Interest, Summer 1989.↩︎
Z. Brzezinski, Between Two Ages, p. 9.↩︎
Ibid., p. 18.↩︎
Ibid., p. 19.↩︎
C. David, “Toward an International Declaration of Interdependence,” Freedom, February-March 1945.↩︎
Z. Brzezinski, Between Two Ages, p. 19.↩︎
Ibid., p. 23.↩︎
Ibid., p. 33.↩︎
See P. Breton, Une histoire de l’informatique, Paris, La Decouverte, 1987.↩︎
N. Wiener, Cybernetics: Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine, Cambridge, Mass., MIT Press, 1948, p. 11.↩︎
Ibid., pp. 161-62.↩︎
F. Machlup, The Production and Distribution of Knowledge in the United States, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1962.↩︎
A. Downs, An Economic Theory of Democracy, New York, Harper, 1957. See also the contributions of K. E. Boulding, “The Economics of Knowledge and the Knowledge of Economics,” in Economics of Information and Knowledge, ed. D. M. Lamberron, Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1971.↩︎
M. U. Porat, The Information Economy: Definition and Measurement, Washington, D.C., July 1977, 9 volumes.↩︎
M. U. Porat, “Global Implications of the Information Society,” Journal of Communication 28, no. 1, Winter 1978.↩︎
E. Parker, “An Information-Based Hypothesis,” Journal of Communication 28, no. 1, Winter 1978.↩︎
A. Giraud et al. (eds.), Les reseaux pensants: Telecommunications et societe, Paris, Masson, 1978.↩︎
S. Nora and A. Minc, L’informatisation de la societe, Paris, La Documentation fran aise, 1978, p. 72. (Translated and published in English under the title of The Computerization of Society: A Report to the President of France, Cambridge, Mass., MIT Press, 1980. The reference here is to p. 80 of the translation.)↩︎
J. P. Chamoux, Information sans frontieres, Paris, La Documentation francaise,1980; A. Madec, Les flux transfrontieres des donnees, Paris, La Documentation française, 1980. In the major industrial countries, the second half of the 1970s was particularly fertile in reports on “informational society.” Some representative titles: Consultative Committee on the Implications of Telecommunications for Canadian Sovereignty (Clyne Committee), Telecommunications and Canada, Hull, Quebec; Canadian Government Publishing Centre, 1979; Australian Telecommunications Commission, Telecom 2000: An Exploration of the Long-Term Development of Telecommunications in Australia, Melbourne, Telecom Australia, 1975. On Japan see: Y. Masuda, The Information Society as Post-Industrial Society, Bethesda, Md., World Future Society, 1981; A. S. Edelstein et al., Information Societies: Comparing the Japanese and American Experience, Seattle, Wash., International Communications Center, School of Communications, University of Washington, 1978.↩︎
A. Madec, “Comment definir les regles du jeu,” Le Monde Diplomatique, December 1980.↩︎
J-F. Lyotard, La condition postmoderne, Paris, Minuit, 1979, pp. 15-16. (Published in English as The Postmodern Condition, trans. G. Bennington and B. Massumi, Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 1984. The reference here is to p. 5.)↩︎
Ibid., p. 30.↩︎
F. Guattari, “L’impasse postmoderne,” La Quinzaine Litteraire, February 1-15, 1986, p. 21.↩︎
J. Ellul, La technique ou l’enjeu du siecle, Paris, Colin, 1954. Published in English as The Technological Society, trans. J. Wilkinson, intro. R. K. Merton, New York, Vintage, 1964.↩︎
F. de Rose, “Les progres scientifiques et techniques: Les problemes qu’ils posent a l’Ouest,” Revue de l’OTAN, October 1978.↩︎
A. Lloyd, “Sweden Fears Data Processing (DP) Reliance,” *Datamation**,* June 1980.↩︎
U.S. Senate, Range Goals in International Telecommunications and Information: An Outline for United States Policy, Washington, D.C., U.S. Government Printing Office, 1983.↩︎
P. Dabezies, “Tentations du tiers monde,” Le Monde, July 2, 1991.↩︎
C. Raghavan, “North Blocks High-Tech to South,” *Third World Resurgence**,* no. 9, May 1991.↩︎
On the history of computers in Brazil, see A. Mattelart and H. Schmucler, Communication and Information Technologies, trans. D. Buxton, Norwood, N.J., Ablex, 1985.↩︎
Z. Brzezinski, “Washington est le seul super-grand,” interview by M. Foucher, Liberation, December 15, 1990, special edition entitled “La nouvelle planete,” p. 16.↩︎
Brzezinski, Between Two Ages, p. 124.↩︎