Algorithms and the Critical Theory of Technology

21 Pages Posted: 2 Apr 2020

Date Written: March 9, 2020


I advocate for the position that radical critique of computation and calculation that must work from the register of capital. The issue is more than just analytical precision. At stake is the continuing centrality of ‘the standpoint of labour’ which in turn animates a critical theory of technology that is politically and programmatically adequate. Using the example of digitalization and automation of control rights, I link ‘algorithmic regulation’ with late capitalist logics — where capital dominates the labour-capital antagonism — to argue that this is but the latest maneuver in the always-already impulse of value towards the realization of its own totality. Nevertheless, computation provides a venue for radical political advocacy, an urgent task for contemporary public affairs.

Suggested Citation

Timcke, Scott, Algorithms and the Critical Theory of Technology (March 9, 2020). Available at SSRN: or

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