Affective Media, Cyberlibertarianism and the New Zealand Internet Party

Olivier Jutel

Abstract


The New Zealand Internet Party tested key notions of affective media politics. Embracing techno-solutionism and the hacker politics of disruption, Kim Dotcom’s party attempted to mobilize the digital natives through an irreverent politics of lulz. While an electoral failure the party’s political discourse offers insights into affective media ontology. The social character of affective media creates the political conditions for an antagonistic political discourse. In this case affective identification in the master signifier “The Internet” creates a community of enjoyment threatened by the enemy of state surveillance as an agent of rapacious jouissance. The Internet Party’s politics of lulz was cast as a left-wing techno-fix to democracy, but this rhetoric belied a politics of cyberlibertarianism. Dotcom’s political intervention attempted to conflate his private interests as a battle that elevates him to the status of cyberlibertarian super-hero in the mold of Edward Snowden or Julian Assange.

 


Keywords


Affect; Populism; Cyberlibertarianism; Jouissance; Affective Media; The Political; Fetishism; The Alt-Right

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