background preloader

The $100bn Facebook question: Will capitalism survive 'value abundance'?

The $100bn Facebook question: Will capitalism survive 'value abundance'?
Chiang Mai, Thailand - Does Facebook exploit its users? And where is the $100bn in the company's estimated value coming from? This is not a new debate. It resurfaces regularly in the blogosphere and academic circles, ever since Tiziana Terranova coined the term "Free Labour" to indicate a new form of capitalist exploitation of unpaid labour - firstly referring to the viewers of classic broadcast media, and now to the new generation of social media participants on sites such as Facebook. The argument can be summarised very succinctly by the catch phrase: "If it's free, then you are the product being sold." This term was recently relaunched in an article by University of Essex academics Christopher Land and Steffen Böhm, entitled "They are exploiting us! This line of argument is misleading, however, because it conflates two types of value creation that were already recognised as distinct by 18th century political economists. Engineering scarcity But this is no longer happening.

Related:  Hyperglobalization and Finance Capitalism

Jungle Ethics Financialism vs. Free Market Capitalism Proposals for adequate regulation and enforcement in the financial markets often run into objections from advocates of free-market capitalism. Like any discussion that involves “isms,” a lot of confusion and hard feelings can be generated by a failure to examine the assumptions and preconceptions that cluster around the central conception. We need a definition. For the sake of clarity, I will first detour into a discussion of what this form of capitalism is not, describing its antithesis – jungle-ethics financialism. Financialism is an economic system where the primary activity consists of creating and manipulating financial instruments.

The Nature Of The Firm and Work Markets Those who watched the video I posted on Sunday saw me talking about this. But I didn't do it justice so I'm going to do a full post on this. The brilliant Nobel prize winning economist Ronald Coase (who is still alive!) wrote a seminal essay called The Nature Of The Firm in 1937. Post-scarcity - AdCiv In a sentence: by increasing the amount and quality of physical goods (through automation) via freely available open-source channels, until it makes no sense for anyone to rely on anything else. The transition beyond our current institutions to post-scarcity, due to social and political reasons, may though be harder than actually developing the technologies required to support a technological post-scarcity. However some form of true post-scarcity - perhaps regulated at the personal consumption level unless agreed at a community/regional level for larger projects - where all people on Earth do not have to work for pay, or any kind of exchange, and have a very high standard of living does appear possible on the face of it. The Earth's crust contains quintillions of tonnes of useful elements; energy is plentiful (solar, geothermal, nuclear) and automation of everything significant including the fabrication of other automated systems is likely to be within mankind's capabilities.

John Lanchester · Marx at 193 · LRB 5 April 2012 In trying to think what Marx would have made of the world today, we have to begin by stressing that he was not an empiricist. He didn’t think that you could gain access to the truth by gleaning bits of data from experience, ‘data points’ as scientists call them, and then assembling a picture of reality from the fragments you’ve accumulated. Since this is what most of us think we’re doing most of the time it marks a fundamental break between Marx and what we call common sense, a notion that was greatly disliked by Marx, who saw it as the way a particular political and class order turns its construction of reality into an apparently neutral set of ideas which are then taken as givens of the natural order. Empiricism, because it takes its evidence from the existing order of things, is inherently prone to accepting as realities things that are merely evidence of underlying biases and ideological pressures. Empiricism, for Marx, will always confirm the status quo.

The Book of Jobs What this transition meant, however, is that jobs and livelihoods on the farm were being destroyed. Because of accelerating productivity, output was increasing faster than demand, and prices fell sharply. It was this, more than anything else, that led to rapidly declining incomes. Farmers then (like workers now) borrowed heavily to sustain living standards and production. Watching Open Source Destroy Capitalism Theft, or post-capitalism? About twenty years ago one of my college housemates, Jerry, had an idea. “What if you could send music over the internet?” This was the age of 2400 baud modems that made crazy high pitched noised while they tried to connect to the internet. My 20 megabyte external hard drive for my MacPlus computer had set my parents back about five hundred bucks.

Capitalism: A Ghost Story Is it a house or a home? A temple to the new India, or a warehouse for its ghosts? Ever since Antilla arrived on Altamont Road in Mumbai, exuding mystery and quiet menace, things have not been the same. “Here we are,” the friend who took me there said, “Pay your respects to our new Ruler.” Antilla belongs to India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani. I had read about this most expensive dwelling ever built, the twenty-seven floors, three helipads, nine lifts, hanging gardens, ballrooms, weather rooms, gymnasiums, six floors of parking, and the six hundred servants.

How Technology is Recreating the 21st-century Economy W. Brian Arthur, PARC Visiting Researcher series: Entrepreneurial Spirit 4 August 20115:30-7:00pmGeorge E. Pake Auditorium, PARCmap/ directions FAQ (1) What is The Zeitgeist Movement? The Zeitgeist Movement is an explicitly non-violent, global sustainability advocacy group currently working in over 1000 Regional Chapters across 70 countries. The basic structure of The Movement consists of Chapters, Teams, Projects & Events. Overall, the Chapters are essentially what define the Movement and each Chapter works to not only spread awareness about the roots of our social problems today but also to express the logical, scientific solutions and methods we have at our disposal to update and correct the current social system and create a truly responsible, sustainable, peaceful, global society. Working through global and regional educational projects and community programs, the intermediate goal is to obtain a worldwide movement, essentially unifying the people, regardless of country, religion or political party, with a common value identification that we all invariably share, pertaining to our survival and sustainability. Infinite Growth

bifo says relax by malcolm harris Of the anti-capitalist scholars and intellectuals who prescribe a political program, Franco Berardi might have the most counter-intuitive ideas. In his many articles, books, and lectures, Berardi pushes a curious line against a mind-warping market culture. During the current period of youth-led urban unrest, Berardi has consistently preached a resistance strategy that emulates the process of aging. While capital says go faster, make more, consume more, his call for “senilization” says slow down, work less, consume less.