McGill-Queen's University Press
Tug of War: Surveillance Capitalism, Military Contracting, and the Rise of the Security State 1st Edition
Selling Earth observation satellites on their abilities to predict and limit adverse environmental change, politicians, business leaders, the media, and technology enthusiasts have spent sixty years arguing that space exploration can create a more peaceful, prosperous world. Capitalist states have also socialized the risk and privatized the profits of the commercial space industry by convincing taxpayers to fund surveillance technologies as necessary components of sovereignty, freedom, and democracy. Jocelyn Wills?s Tug of War reminds us that colonizing the cosmos has not only accelerated the arms race but also encouraged government contractors to compete for the military and commercial spoils of surveillance. Although Canadians prefer to celebrate their role as purveyors of peaceful space applications, Canada has played a pivotal part in the expansion of neoliberal policies and surveillance networks that now encircle the globe, primarily as a political ally of the United States and component supplier for its military-industrial complex. Tracing the forty-five-year history of Canada?s largest space company ? MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) ? through the lens of surveillance studies and a trove of oral history transcripts, government documents, trade journals, and other sources, Wills places capitalism?s imperial ambitions squarely at the centre of Canada-US relations and the privatization of the Canadian political economy. Tug of War confronts the mythic lure of technological progress and the ways in which those who profess little interest in war rationalize their leap into military contracting by avoiding the moral and political implications of their work.