So, how do we make sense of new media? How can we guard against our temptation to assume, our implicit sense, even, that everything in our experience of today’s emerging digital media is brand new and unprecedented? And how do we do that while also appreciating the things that really are new or unique to our current cultural context and moment in history?
The Soviet experience suggests something really important for us today, which is that networks are entirely compatible with surveillance. And many of our favorite things to talk about, then, peer-to-peer production, or end-to-end intelligence, kind of missed the point that I think is now obvious. That whether you’re the NSA or Google or whoever else…you’re a general secretariat, seeking to privatize our power, and you are surveilling us, because you have a network in place.