Kevin Kelly’s Complexity Theory – The Politics and Ideology of Self-Organizing Systems
Regarded as a contemporary prophet of the new technology and economy, Kevin Kelly argues that the realms of nature and human construction are becoming one. Human-made things are becoming more lifelike, and life is becoming more engineered. In this future world, control is dispersed in highly pluralistic, open, and decentralized systems. Natural, technological, economic, and social elements of the system co-evolve toward a superior, neo-biological civilization that will foster bottom-up control, coordinated change, and cooperation among all elements. The authors contest Kelly’s metaphysics of the new economy and technologies, arguing that he illicitly collapses technology and the economy into nature, using nature metaphors to legitimate the new forms of economy and organization. The authors argue that Kelly fails to factor in the logic of capital into his scenario and fails to explore the consequences of the new organization of economy and new technology for the environment and society.