Anti-Capitalist Operating System by Together We Can Defeat Capitalism
Let them design their own operating systems!
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Anti-Capitalist Operating System

Featured by Jacob Lillemose.

The mode of operation of Anti-capitalist Operating System v2.0 is both simple and transparent: It takes the overall design from Windows 98 and turns it into an interface for a website based platform with links to anti-capitalist activities. By way of symbolic parody and conceptual subversion it shows how operating systems, the master brain and puppet master of all other software, are laden with implicit politics, usually those of capitalism; how operating systems are not only a question of design frames for the eye but of ideological framings of the mind. The illusion is cleverly and thoroughly made, from the opening page that lists the different modes of installation and the ASCII page that lists the system configurations to the orange on black writing that tells you, "it is now safe to turn off ACOS". But however much it looks like a conventional operating system, it surely does not operate like one.

ACOS reverses the ideological framing 180 degrees to become an explicitly political operating system with a vengeance, a tool kit and a road map for the networked generation. Instead of providing digital blinkers ACOS slams the digital windows wide open. It turns off the "Me, myself and I" tune of the personal computer and emphasizes how using operating system is to participate in a collective culture. It is your choice if you want to participate passively or actively. ACOS forces you to ask yourself if you want to be a consumer or a contributor, a user or an activist? Well, what do you, punk?

ACOS in its current version is perhaps more of a proto-type of an alternative operating system than a ready-to-ship software product. However, the possibilities it points to are nevertheless interesting. Imagine if all the the people in the world who used Microsoft's operating system for everyday purposes and in their professional life exchanged it with ACOS. And imagine if TWCDC due to popular demand continued to develop their operating system with Linux. If all programs were conceptualized according to anti-capitalist thinking; if you were read a passage of Das Kapital or Empire every time you turned on your computer; if your email program automatically sent out protest mails to global co-operations on May 1st; if the help menu was a crash course in hacktivism, if the icon of your browser was a worker of immaterial labour. What a potential for a revolution of the culture of software! Imagine, and some day it will happen.

by admin, posted 14 Nov 2004

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