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Special issue of tripleC: Capitalist Crisis, Communication & Culture

“Capitalism […] is approaching an apocalyptic zero-point” (Slavoj Žižek).

What is the role of communication in the general situation of capitalist crisis?
The global economic downturn is an indicator of a new worldwide capitalist crisis. The main focus of most public debates as well as of economic and policy analyses is the role of finance capital and the housing market in creating the crisis, less attention is given to the role of communication technologies, the media, and culture in the world economic crisis. The task of this special issue of tripleC is to present analyses of the role of ICTs, the media, and culture in the current crisis of capitalism. The seven papers focus on the causes, development, and effects of the crisis. Each paper relates one or more of these dimensions to ICTs, the media, or culture.

WikiLeaks – Alternative Internet Medium and Watchdog Platform – and the Critique of the Power Elite

The truth about the WikiLeaks Afghanistan documents is that the platform has the potential to make visible the scale of brutality, violence, and horror of warfare and military conflicts. WikiLeaks can be seen as an alternative media project: it tries to provide information that uncovers the misuse of power by powerful actors, it is an Internet-based medium that enables critiques of power structures. The problem of the WikiLeak self-description is that in the first third of the text, only documenting government corruption is mentioned, whereas documenting corporate irresponsibility and corporate crimes is not. The problem that remains is that in the WikiLeaks self-description, corporate crimes and corporate corruption are only mentioned late and that the notion of civilizing corporations is adopted.