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Cold War LegaciesSystems, Theory, Aesthetics$
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John Beck and Ryan Bishop

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781474409483

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474409483.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 13 October 2019

‘The Very Form of Perverse Artificial Societies’: The Unstable Emergence of the Network Family from its Cold War Nuclear Bunker

‘The Very Form of Perverse Artificial Societies’: The Unstable Emergence of the Network Family from its Cold War Nuclear Bunker

Chapter:
(p.151) Chapter 8 ‘The Very Form of Perverse Artificial Societies’: The Unstable Emergence of the Network Family from its Cold War Nuclear Bunker
Source:
Cold War Legacies
Author(s):

Ken Hollings

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474409483.003.0009

 Deleuze and Guattari's ‘perverse artificial societies’ were the random ones thrown up by Paris’s unstable telephone system in the 1960s and 1970s, where crossed lines, misdialed numbers and bad connections created an entire phantom network of voices: ‘a society of unknowns’. Just as the ‘nuclear family’ was seen as a strategic element in the Cold War, dispersed into suburban enclaves of self-contained domestic units, so the ‘network family’ of today, distributed across social media now finds itself being defined as a strategic element in a warring online cyber community: its elusive and fragmented presence regarded as both a threat and a defence position. What this shift reveals is that the nuclear family was not as stable as it seemed and that the networked family is more tightly defined and structured according to what is perceived to exist outside of it. From this perspective it is easier to understand today’s panics over online security and ‘whistle blowers’ against state intervention in private communication, who are frequently presented by the mainstream media as domestically unstable – the chapter ends with a discussion Edward Snowden, Bradley/Chelsea Manning, and Julian Assange, together with the psychosexually aggressive language and imagery of Anonymous.

Keywords:   cold war, nuclear family, networks, whistleblowers, Deleuze and Guattari

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