The US lobbied Russia this year on behalf of Visa and MasterCard in an attempt to ensure the payment companies were not "adversely affected" by new legislation, according to American diplomats in Moscow.The WTO sequence was a struggle between the multitude (on the streets of Seattle) and capital. The current sequence of struggle is between the general intellect and capital. What needs to be grasped and expressed is the passage from the multitude to the general intellect—both contemporary class formations being leading concerns for Italian post-autonomists theorists (Virno, Berrardi, Marrazzi, Negri).
A state department cable released this afternoon by WikiLeaks reveals that US diplomats intervened to try to amend a draft law going through Russia's Duma. Their explicit aim was to ensure the new law did not "disadvantage" the two US firms, the cable states.
The revelation comes a day after Visa — apparently acting under intense pressure from Washington — announced it was suspending all payments to WikiLeaks, the whistle-blowing website. Visa was following MasterCard, PayPal and Amazon, all of which have severed ties with the site and its founder Julian Assange in the last few days.
What capital hates at this moment more than anything else is its politicalization. MasterCard wants the appearance of being outside of politics, outside of the state and its modes of governing. But Wikileaks has freaked out the state, and the state (and Wikileaks) have blown MasterCard's cover of neutrality. Capital is not outside of the state, but in the heart of its mechanisms of control.