This paper builds on marxist postdigital literature by first by clarifying what a ‘mode of production’ is, what the capitalist mode of production is, and how, why, and on what technological foundations it emerged. This leads into a discussion of these technological foundations and their relationship to production, knowledge, research, and subjectivity; in other words, the ‘general intellect’. At this point I move from discussing modes of production to social formations or socio-economic formations, and I show why social formations are more helpful to conceptualize the political and pedagogical struggle in the era of postdigital capitalism (and any capitalism) as well as to insist on the division between capitalism and communism, two distinct modes of production in between which socialism is posited as a transitional social formation. With the postdigital age, collaboration, networked interactions, communication, open-source platforms, and more might be elements of a future mode of production. I end by returning to the question of the marxist political project and propose a postdigital marxist pedagogical approach that might help educators shift the balance of forces in the class struggle based on Althusser’s reading of Capital that brings together two formerly opposed educational forms: counterinterpellation and disinterpellation.
Ford, D.R. (2021). Pedagogically reclaiming Marx’s politics in the postdigital age: Social formations and Althusserian pedagogical gestures. Postdigital Science and Education, online first.