By Filip Vostal (auth.)
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Relating these two domains, the discussion then focuses capitalism’s imperatives on the transformation of labour, necessarily including the psychology of workers, an association that remains transhistorically relevant in capitalist modernity. Referring to Marx, Mioshe Postone says that ‘capital … is a self-moving social mediation that renders modern society increasingly dynamic and shapes the form of the process of production’ (1993: 263). One of the ‘propellers’ of the ‘self-movement’ and ‘dynamics’ Postone implicitly alludes to is the constitutive imperative of the capitalist system: competition.
To be competitive simply requires being faster than capitalist rivals: The capitalist firm … is … necessarily in competition with other capitalist firms. If it cannot out-compete them, eventually it will be forced out of business. To out-compete means keeping ahead in developing new, more productive techniques – only in that way can it ensure that Temporal Dynamics of Capitalism 37 it is not going to be driven out of business by rivals producing and selling goods more cheaply than it can. e. e.
In a more complex way Tomlinson, for instance, notes that telemedia ‘have capacity to form trust relations and senses of moral obligations beyond the confines of physical locale’ (2007b: 158) or that mediated experience of intimacy with distant others (via Skype-like applications for instance) has become commonplace. Immediacy as a type of speed brings comforts and ease as well as anxieties and disturbances (associated with ‘time-famine’ and the feeling of an ‘accelerated pace of life’). In a sense, rational-progressive and unruly speeds are perfectly compatible with the ‘sublime’ of immediacy, maybe Thematizing Acceleration 31 more than Tomlinson acknowledges.
Accelerating Academia: The Changing Structure of Academic Time by Filip Vostal (auth.)