I said before that Byung-Chul Han rewrites Zygmunt Bauman without offering much of his own. However, his book Psychopolitics: Neoliberalism and New Technologies of Power is actually very fresh. It’s my favorite one so far.
Marx promised that the exploitation of the working classes by the owners of the means of production would eventually be abolished by the advent of communism. Obviously, no communism arrived. However, allo-exploitation – which is the exploitation by others – is, indeed, dying out. Neoliberalism is killing it by destroying the barriers between exploited labor and means of production.
Everybody’s means of production is now the self. We are our own means of production. And each of us is both the exploiter and the exploited at once. Instead of allo-exploitation, it’s now auto-exploitation.
The social revolution is no longer possible because there can be no class solidarity when there are no classes.
Let’s illustrate this with an example. It’s 8 pm on a Saturday night. What are people doing? The rich, the poor, and everybody in the middle are working their tails off without any compensation to enrich the owners of Twitter, Instagram, or FB. They are squeezing every ounce of value from their means of production, which is their self. And they don’t even begin to conceive of themselves as exploited.