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Why Class Matters
Just to reiterate my main point: real utopias become viable when they span these two strategies, taming and eroding capitalism. That’s why it’s different from old-fashioned Bernsteinian evolutionary socialism. The role of the state in such a transformational project is to defend and expand the spaces in which alternatives are built from below, rather than for the state to provide, to be the central actor in the provision of needs.
class  Marxism  inequality  domination  power  exploitation  Marx  Weber  socialism  anti-capitalism  analyticalMarxism  Althusser  Poulantzas  AlbertMichael  markets  cooperative  utopias  interview  dctagged  dc:contributor=WrightErikOlins 
2 days ago by petej
'The goal is to automate us': welcome to the age of surveillance capitalism | Technology | The Guardian
For example, the idea of “data ownership” is often championed as a solution. But what is the point of owning data that should not exist in the first place? All that does is further institutionalise and legitimate data capture. It’s like negotiating how many hours a day a seven-year-old should be allowed to work, rather than contesting the fundamental legitimacy of child labour. Data ownership also fails to reckon with the realities of behavioural surplus. Surveillance capitalists extract predictive value from the exclamation points in your post, not merely the content of what you write, or from how you walk and not merely where you walk. Users might get “ownership” of the data that they give to surveillance capitalists in the first place, but they will not get ownership of the surplus or the predictions gleaned from it – not without new legal concepts built on an understanding of these operations.
technology  businessModels  surveillance  surveillanceCapitalism  tracking  predictions  manipulation  personalisation  power  democracy  Facebook  Google  advertising  behaviour  control  dataProtection  ownership  GDPR  dctagged  dc:creator=ZuboffShoshana 
4 weeks ago by petej
What 46 Populist Leaders Did to Democracy - The Atlantic
Populist governments, in our working definition, are united by two fundamental claims: (1) Elites and “outsiders” work against the interests of the “true people,” and (2) since populists are the voice of the “true people,” nothing should stand in their way.
politics  populism  democracy  BolsonaroJair  Brazil  TrumpDonald  ModiNarendra  WidodoJoko  Indonesia  India  USA  power  press  media  civilLiberties  MouffeChantal  corruption  Italy  transparency 
8 weeks ago by petej
The Cost of Living in Mark Zuckerberg’s Internet Empire - The Ringer
From Zuckerberg’s perspective, the whole point of Facebook has always been to bring people together. Well, nothing brings people together like an empire. Talk about engagement with a platform! The question, for those of us who would prefer to remain barbarians (and who hold out hope of someday sacking Rome), is how does he imagine an empire expands its borders? Who is Facebook making war on, if not us?
Facebook  socialMedia  personalData  misuse  leaks  privacy  Netflix  Spotify  advertising  surveillanceCapitalism  businessModels  ZuckerbergMark  power 
8 weeks ago by petej
Ivan Rogers’ Brexit bombshell, digested | Martha Gill | Opinion | The Guardian
There is a contradiction at the heart of the argument made by many of those advocating no deal. They say both that WTO terms are good enough for the UK to trade on, and that Britain’s prosperity depends on it striking multiple trade deals abroad.

Rogers puts it like this: “You cannot simultaneously argue that it is perfectly fine to leave a deep free trade agreement with easily our largest export and import market for the next generation, and trade on WTO terms because that is how we and others trade with everyone else – and argue that it is imperative we get out of the EU in order that we can strike preferential trade deals with large parts of the rest of the world, because the existing terms on which we trade with the rest of the world are intolerable.”
UK  EU  Brexit  negotiations  politics  delusion  sovereignty  agency  power  Article50  transition  EU27  withdrawalAgreement  singleMarket  LancasterHouse  freedomOfMovement  WTO  noDeal  trade  freeTradeAgreement  services  transparency  secrecy  dishonesty  RogersIvan  speech  Liverpool 
9 weeks ago by petej
Kavanaugh has revealed the insidious force in global politics: toxic masculinity | Jonathan Freedland | Opinion | The Guardian
Much of the commentary on populism emphasises its appeal not only to economic anxiety, but to the sense of cultural displacement felt by those who fear ethnic and racial diversity. What’s discussed less often is the specific appeal to men, angry that their status has been shaken by the shifts of the last several decades.
USA  politics  TrumpDonald  KavanaughBrett  masculinity  power  entitlement  machismo  DuterteRodrigo  OrbanViktor  JohnsonBoris  PutinVladimir  DavisDavid  dctagged  dc:creator=FreedlandJonathan 
september 2018 by petej
Manafort, Cohen, and Trump: The System Is Rotten - The Atlantic
What Trump has done, by consistently defending his criminal associates, and by attacking the prosecutions as politically motivated or corrupt, is make the implicit obvious: The little people go to prison, the big people do whatever they want. At least, most of the time. The surprise is not that Trump surrounded himself with advisers who committed crimes, or that Trump himself encouraged his advisers to flout the law. The surprise is the mere possibility that any of them will pay for it.
USA  politics  justice  ManafortPaul  CohenMichael  crime  corruption  fraud  wealth  power  TrumpDonald 
august 2018 by petej
How social media took us from Tahrir Square to Donald Trump - MIT Technology Review
Rather, the problem is that when we encounter opposing views in the age and context of social media, it’s not like reading them in a newspaper while sitting alone. It’s like hearing them from the opposing team while sitting with our fellow fans in a football stadium. Online, we’re connected with our communities, and we seek approval from our like-minded peers. We bond with our team by yelling at the fans of the other one. In sociology terms, we strengthen our feeling of “in-group” belonging by increasing our distance from and tension with the “out-group”—us versus them. Our cognitive universe isn’t an echo chamber, but our social one is. This is why the various projects for fact-checking claims in the news, while valuable, don’t convince people. Belonging is stronger than facts.
socialMedia  politics  activism  communication  ArabSpring  Egypt  TahrirSquare  Tunisia  Syria  Iran  Twitter  MubarakHosni  authoritarianism  power  control  ObamaBarack  targeting  technoUtopianism  bigData  misinformation  polarisation  NSA  security  Facebook  Google  monopolies  YouTube  algorithms  attention  insults  TrumpDonald  USA  Russia  trolling  interference  corruption  accountability  filterBubble  surveillance  platforms  personalData  inequality  precarity  insecurity  dctagged  dc:creator=TufekciZeynep  recommendations 
august 2018 by petej
getting real about Facebook – Snakes and Ladders
Facebook will not “change its mindset.” Ever.

Facebook’s “goal” is not “total connectedness,” it is the monopolization and monetization of your attention.

“Facebook will continue to bring thoughtless, banal harm to the world.” Period. There are no “human considerations,” nor will there ever be.

Billions of people will indeed “put up with that forever.”
Facebook  socialMedia  businessModels  regulation  power  monopolies  dctagged  dc:creator=JacobsAlan 
august 2018 by petej
Now is the Time for Worker Power in the Tech Industry | Novara Media
For many tech workers, the idea of joining a trade union seems ridiculous – unions are often thought of as a relic of an older time, irrelevant to the meritocracy that is the tech industry.
The class composition of the industry.

Why is this? If we take a structural approach to the tech industry, we see that the workforce is effectively bifurcated in such a way as to contain potential challenges from below. Those with high leverage over production – say, senior software engineers who know how the systems work – are paid exceedingly well, often partly in stock, and given lavish perks. This is especially true in Silicon Valley, where a frothy startup investment environment forces tech companies of all sizes to offer lavish benefits in order to compete for ‘talent’. Correspondingly, workers with the most leverage over production are convinced they are not actually workers, and that their interests align with their company instead of their class. This amounts to a strategic isolation of the few employees with the most power to disrupt production, who are then showered with material benefits to dissuade them from ever exercising that power.
technology  work  labour  employment  class  tradeUnions  activism  informationTechnology  SiliconValley  power 
july 2018 by petej
“This Is Serious”: Facebook Begins Its Downward Spiral | Vanity Fair
But one thing is certain. For years, Zuckerberg and Facebook have tromped through the technology landscape and demolished everything that stood in the way. This was done without any reprisal, without any consequence. In fact, each time the company destroyed a competitor, or found a way around traditional regulatory concerns, the valuation of Facebook would go up. But now, it seems that all of those actions are coming back to haunt the company, and social media as a whole. Facebook was always famous for the sign that hung in its offices, written in big red type on a white background, that said “Move Fast and Break Things.” And every time I think about the company, I realize it has done just that—to itself. But I think that Zuckerberg, and the people who work at Facebook, also realize that the things they have broken are things that are going to be very difficult to put back together.
Facebook  ZuckerbergMark  business  power  socialMedia  privacy  surveillanceCapitalism  businessModels  competition  ruthlessness 
january 2018 by petej
Silicon Valley Is Not Your Friend - The New York Times
Growth becomes the overriding motivation — something treasured for its own sake, not for anything it brings to the world. Facebook and Google can point to a greater utility that comes from being the central repository of all people, all information, but such market dominance has obvious drawbacks, and not just the lack of competition. As we’ve seen, the extreme concentration of wealth and power is a threat to our democracy by making some people and companies unaccountable.

In addition to their power, tech companies have a tool that other powerful industries don’t: the generally benign feelings of the public. To oppose Silicon Valley can appear to be opposing progress, even if progress has been defined as online monopolies; propaganda that distorts elections; driverless cars and trucks that threaten to erase the jobs of millions of people; the Uberization of work life, where each of us must fend for ourselves in a pitiless market.

As is becoming obvious, these companies do not deserve the benefit of the doubt. We need greater regulation, even if it impedes the introduction of new services. If we can’t stop their proposals — if we can’t say that driverless cars may not be a worthy goal, to give just one example — then are we in control of our society? We need to break up these online monopolies because if a few people make the decisions about how we communicate, shop, learn the news, again, do we control our own society?
SiliconValley  Google  Facebook  personalData  monopolies  power  accountability  control  ethics  regulation 
october 2017 by petej
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