Affective Media, Cyberlibertarianism and the New Zealand Internet Party

  • Olivier Jutel University of the South Pacific
Keywords: Affect, Populism, Cyberlibertarianism, Jouissance, Affective Media, The Political, Fetishism, The Alt-Right


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.


Author Biography

Olivier Jutel, University of the South Pacific
Olivier Jutel is the broadcast journalism lecturer in the School of Language Arts and Media at the
University of the South Pacific. A former broadcast journalist in New Zealand his published work
has dealt with Barack Obama and the Tea Party, neo-liberalism, populism, critical theory, AFFECT
and political economy of the media.