Wark’s Hacker Manifesto

McKenzie Wark
A Hacker Manifesto
Area: Digital Media

•    The hacker class—produce new concepts, perceptions, sensations, hacked out of raw data
•    To hack is to differ
•    To hack is to produce or apply the abstract to information and express the possibility of new worlds, beyond necessity
•    Information is the detachment of a resource from capital already detached from land.  It is the double of a double.
•    Time itself becomes a commodified experience
•    The hacker class is caught between a politics of the masses from below and a politics of the rulers from above
•    Education is slavery
o    050: “When capital discovers that many tasks can be performed by causal employees with little training, education splits into a minimal system meant to teach servility to the poorest workers and a competitive system offering the brighter workers a way up the slippery slope to security and consumerism.”
o    Education is the organization of knowledge under the sign of property
•    Whose property is knowledge?
•    A hack touches the virtual—and transforms the actual
•    While everyone isn’t a hacker, everyone hacks
•    Information wants to be free but is everywhere in chains
•    Every hacker is at the same time producer and a product of the hack
•    Forms of property:
o    Land: primary
o    Capital: secondary
o    Information: developing
•    Hackers need some means of extracting an income from the hack
o    Maintain autonomy; limited protection of rights
•    The vector is viral—vectors of transport move objects and subjects
•    By extension, a vector may be any means by which anything moves
004: “Hackers create the possibility of new things entering the world.  Not always great things, or even good things, but new things.  In art, in science, in philosophy and culture, in any production of knowledge where data can be gathered, where information can be extracted from it, and where in that information new possibilities for the world produced, there are hackers hacking the new out of the old. While we create these new worlds, we do not possess them.  That which we create is mortgage to others, and to the interests of others, to states and corporations who monopolize the means for making worlds we alone discover.  We do not own what we produce—it owns us.”
021: “The vectoralist class struggles to monopolize abstraction.  For the vectoral class, ‘politics is about absolute control over intellectual property by means of warlike strategies of communication, control, and command.”
022: “Hackers come as a class to recognize their class interest is best expressed through the struggle to free the production of abstraction, not just from the particular fetters of this or that form of property, but to abstract the form of property itself.”
030: “But when information in turn becomes a form of private property, workers are dispossessed of it, and must buy their own culture back from its owners, the vectoralist class.”
130: “Information exceeds communication.  Deleuze: ‘We do not lack communication.  On the contrary, we have too much of it.  We lack creation.  We lack resistance to the present.’  Information is at once this resistance, and what it resists—its own dead form, communication.”
139: “The sign of a free world is not the liberty to consume information, or to produce it, not even to implement its potential in private worlds of one’s choosing.  The sign of a free world is the liberty for the collective transformation of the world through abstractions freely chosen and freely actualized.”
170: “Production produces not only the object as commodity, but also the subject who appears as its consumerism, even though it is actually its producer.  Under vectoralist rule, society becomes a ‘social factory’ which makes subjects as much as objects out of the transformation of nature into second nature.”
222: “To hack is to refuse representation, to make matters express themselves otherwise.  To hack is always to produce the odd difference in the production of information.  To hack is to trouble the object or the subject, by transforming in some way the very process of production by which objects and subjects come into being and recognizing each other by their representations.  The hack troubles the unrepresentable, the real.”
322: “Once information can move faster than people or things, it becomes the means by which people and things are to be meshed together in the interest of productive activity in ever expanding envelopes.”
344: “The great challenge to the hacker class is not just to create the abstractions by which the vector may develop, but the forms of collective expression that may overcome the limits not just of commodification, but of objectification in general, of which commodification is just the most pernicious and one-sided development.”


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November 2008
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