The Communication of Capital: Digital Media and the Logic of Acceleration

  • Vincent R. Manzerolle Faculty of Information and Media Studies, University of Western Ontario, Canada
  • Atle Mikkola Kjøsen Faculty of Information and Media Studies University of Western Ontario, Canada
Keywords: Capital Volume 2, Grundrisse, marxism, media theory, digital media, mobile payment systems, convergence, acceleration, diagrammatics, cybernetics and dromoeconomics.


This paper argues that questions concerning the circulation of capital are central to the study of contemporary and future media under capitalism. Moreover, it argues that such questions have been central to Marx’s analysis of the reproduction of capital vis-à-vis the realization of value and the reduction of circulation time. Marx’s concepts of both the circuit and circulation of capital implies a theory of communication. Thus the purpose of our paper is to outline the logistical mechanisms that underlie a Marxist theory of media and communication and thereby foregrounding the role new media plays in reducing circulation time. We argue that the necessity of theorizing communication from a circuit and circulation-centric point of view stems from the emergence of a number of new technological phenomena that intensify, but sometimes undermine, the capitalist logic of acceleration. For the purposes of understanding the evolution of digital technologies, ostensibly employed to accelerate the circulation of capital—or put differently, to reduce circulation time—we need to pay attention to volume 2 of Capital, and key sections in the Grundrisse.
Marx is Back-The Importance of Marxist Theory and Research for Critical Comm. Studies Today, ed C. Fuchs & Vincent Mosco