Having read a couple posts that lament the lack of solutions offered in Jonathan Crary’s 24/7, I want to focus on the solution as demonstrated by Crary’s ambitious attempt to identify an opposing temporality in the form of the “sleeper.” He makes a strong claim that techno-conglomerates have interpellated us to exist as compliant subjects in a world of unfettered late capitalism. Crary elucidates a social reality that is surveyed biopolitically, which is to say, we have been conditioned to self-administer our own compliance. While 24/7 certainly contains much that should be unpacked, I am specifically interested in how the argument pertains to social relations, how we interact with one another through various technologies that seemingly offer connection. Having established the pernicious nature of 24/7 temporalities, Crary claims that “[w]ithin 24/7 capitalism, a sociality outside of individual self-interest becomes inexorably depleted, and the interhuman basis of public space is made irrelevant to one’s fantasmatic digital insularity” (89). Crary critiques the marketed ideology that champions the newest technology, which connects one to his or her loved ones, ensuring more frequent communication. Crary also points out that neoliberalism successfully demonized the dreams of communality that existed in the 1960s. As late capitalism ensures the marketability of every part of the day, eventually even sleep, we move further away from a healthy sociality outside of shallow digital communication.
As a solution, Crary champions a type of temporality that allows for “waiting” in order to have “time-in-common” (127). I’ll admit the irony of myself blogging about Crary who points to blogging as the end of politics due to the fact that bloggers do not wait to hear one another; they endlessly chatter into the ether. I agree with Crary’s solution for what might ameliorate or mitigate our entrenchment in capitalism. The solution, as he states, takes the form of “the sleeper [who] inhabits a world in common, a shared enactment of withdrawal from the calamitous nullity and waste of 24/7 praxis” (126). I wonder how we can tap into this “sleeper” ontology in order to shore up the encroachment of global capitalism. Does he mean that we should disconnect from our technologies more often, attempting to opt-out for short periods in which we might dream or imagine other ways of being-in-the-world?