The Neoliberal Politics of “Smart”:
Electricity Consumption, Household Monitoring, and the Enterprise Form
by Anthony M. Levenda, Dillon Mahmoudi, & Gerald Sussman
Portland State University
Portland State University PDXScholar
Urban Studies and Planning Faculty Publications
and Presentations Urban Studies and Planning
Canadian Journal of Communication, Vol 40 (4)
Excerpts from the full 23 page document. This is a rather difficult read so read carefully.
In this article, we wish to discuss the relationship between the expansion and deepening of corporate encroachment on the household and everyday life through the emerging energy “smart grid.”
Every home is equipped with the rudiments of electrical
infrastructure and commodities, ranging from the more modest forms of equipment, such as toasters and refrigerators, to the more extravagant, such as luxury hot tubs and full-scale entertainment complexes. but most people would not imagine that, apart from the bill they receive from their local electric utility, their every flick of an electrical switch integrates their cyberselves as an informational force of (re)production in the corporate capitalist accumulation process.
Technology developments have broad applications and implications, but the smart energy grid that is being implemented
across the United States and Canada, like the worldwide web, we argue, is being appropriated as part of a design to draw upon higher level data from dwellers (as surplus value) in the service of industrial profiteering and in the surveillance interests of industry
and the state.
The consumer’s use value of electricity consumption is thus being transformed into exchange value, as well as creating new forms of social monitoring and control by agencies of government, and of violations of constitutional protections under the Fourth Amendment of the u.S. constitution and Section 8 of the Canadian charter of rights and Freedoms.
As recent exposés regarding National Security Agency (NSA) data collection practices reveal, the clandestine state invasion of private lives and personal information on a sweeping scale would hardly be unprecedented.
There are three closely related core and mutually constituting issues we wish to discuss in this article.
The first concerns the matter of deep surveillance of household life and what this suggests about the erosion of the right to privacy principle embedded in the Fourth Amendment and Section 8 of the Canadian charter of rights and Freedoms, as well as about the regulation of daily life by highly organized, technology assisted external commercial and state forces.
The second, which closely follows from and rationalizes the first, relates to the Foucauldian idea about the disciplining of citizens,
which we see as achieved through ideology, discourse, and materiality linked to electrical energy use within the home, as well as to notions of “efficiency” that persuade people to adapt their behavior as “rational economic actors.”
This subjectivity acquiesces to the rules and regimentation of the corporate enterprise, leads to self taylorization of time and motion in consonance with presumed personal and environmental savings, and in general induces conformity to the norms that make for good neoliberal corporate state citizens.
Third is the question of how consumers are subsumed in value creation, an investigation into whether energy consumers, as “prosumers,” are concurrently producers of wealth by way of submission of their identities and use data that are appropriated in the process of capital formation (within its production and circulation functions)—anything from space/time use of appliances, to the ways by which self-regulation is commodified.
Cell Tower Radiation Prevents Garden Cress Seed Germination In Danish Experiment –
The main focus of this site StopSmartMetersBC.COM is to combat the proliferation of the Smart Meters in BC primarily because of the health effects of the Radio Frequency Radiation which includes EHS (electro-hypersensitivity).
Now, it seems, that EHS may be considered as part of Environmental Illness (EI) which also includes MCS (multiple chemical sensitivity)
I have found this extremely interesting article in groups.facebook.com called The Grow Dome EHS Project. You should visit it.
The article is on the Financial Times Magazine site. Take a look.
(Watch out on this site. You may see the article the first time and then be forced to pay for future access the second time. Do a print to PDF if you want to keep a copy. Or pay $1 for a trial.)
The article is about a photographer Thilde Jensen who is EHS and has published a book of photos of people who are effected by EHS and/or MCS. The title of the book is The Canaries. Those who suffer from EHS /MCS are the Canaries in today’s world. We all are suffering but 90% of us are really not aware of the impact, YET. If we ignore the warning signs now then the problems will be 100 times worse in the near future. We must resist the increasing RFR pollution and the increase in the chemicals in our lives.
see Thilde Jensen’s site at http://thildejensen.com/
I was reviewing one of the Facebook groups that I belong to and I found this amazing site with a treasure trove of information on EHS = Electro Hypersensitivity.
The information is laid out in a graphic/pictorial fashion and not in the typical text/essay fashion. You can spend an hour on the main graphic and get a feeling for the whole subject and then when you are ready, you can click on a link to dig deeper into the current knowledge of EHS. This will keep you busy for hours and hopefully will help you deal with EHS and become politically active to remove the RFR that causes EHS.
In my opinions, people with EHS are like the canaries in the coal mines a century ago. We all suffer from RFR but those people with EHS suffer first.
Visit the FACE BOOK Forum of
The Coalition to Stop Smart Meters In BC
for the latest Smart Meter Lawsuit news
In Sweden, electrohypersensitivity (EHS) is recognized
as a functional impairment which implies only the environment
as the culprit. The Swedish view provides persons
with this impairment a maximal legal protection,
it gives them the right to get accessibility measures for
free, as well as governmental subsidies and municipality
economic support, and to provide them with special
Ombudsmen (at the municipality, the EU, and the UN
level, respectively), the right and economic means to
form disability organizations and allow these to be part of
national and international counterparts, all with the simple
and single aim to allow persons with the functional
impairment electrohypersensitivity to live an equal life in
a society based on equality.
Read the full document here Johansson 2015-1
Key Scientific Question
Potential Health Effects of Our Wireless Age?
“Do long-term, low-level emissions from cell phones, Wi-Fi in schools, cell towers and smart meters cause adverse health effects?”
Clearly, they cause many biological effects.
THE BIOINITIATIVE REPORT 2012
A Rationale for Biologically-based Public Exposure Standards for Electromagnetic Fields (ELF and RF)
Please read the
The RF Color Charts summarize many studies that report biological effects and adverse health effects relevant for cell towers, WI-FI, ‘smart’ wireless utility meters, wireless laptops, baby monitors, cell phones and cordless phones.