Critique, Social Media and Information Society by Christian Fuchs

By Christian Fuchs

In occasions of worldwide capitalist hindrance we're witnessing a go back of critique within the kind of a surging curiosity in serious theories (such because the severe political financial system of Karl Marx) and social rebellions as a response to the commodification and instrumentalization of every little thing. On one hand, there are overdrawn claims that social media (Twitter, fb, YouTube, and so forth) have prompted uproars in nations like Tunisia and Egypt. nevertheless, the query arises as to what real position social media play in modern capitalism, challenge, rebellions, the strengthening of the commons, and the aptitude construction of participatory democracy. The commodification of every thing has resulted additionally in a commodification of the conversation commons, together with web communique that's this present day mostly advertisement in character.

This publication bargains with the questions of what sort of society and what sort of web are fascinating, how capitalism, energy buildings and social media are attached, how political struggles are attached to social media, what present advancements of the net and society let us know approximately capability futures, how an alternate web can seem like, and the way a participatory, commons-based net and a co-operative, participatory, sustainable details society could be completed.

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Also Marx’s dialectical notion of contradiction would be helpful for understanding the ambiguous character that ICTs have in capitalism as well as struggles that emerge from capitalism and that make use of ICTs. The authors point out that the logic of commodification has shaped higher education and academia and that neoliberalism poses manifold problems for young critical scholars in the form of constant raises of tuition fees, unpaid internships, precarious academic jobs, cuts of university and higher education budgets, the competitive logic of publish or perish, the private companies’ influence on universities.

Dahlgren discusses the notion of political participation and relates it to the media and social media. He shows that the focus on the accumulation of visibility and reputation on social media can limit. Here he implicitly uses the Marxian notion of accumulation applied to the realm of a specific cultural phenomenon, reputation. Reputation plays a crucial role, so that political participation is disadvantaged in comparison to consumption. One could say that he applies two Marxian approaches, ideology critique and political economy, to the realm of social media politics and argues that the logic of social media can easily ideologically deflect political participation and that those who engage in political activism supported by social media are facing power asymmetries.

Kliman’s analysis of falling profit rates exclusively focuses on the US. McNally points out that in times of globalization and multinational corporations it is however necessary to look at global developments rather than national economic indicators: “throughout the neoliberal era capitals in the core economies of the world system have increased social inequality while also shifting investment outside their national economies in the search for higher rates of return” (2011, 38). McNally stresses that even if exceptional growth rates of the Great Boom (1948–1973) remained out of reach, neoliberal capitalism “performed at or above the norm” and the world economy tripled in size between 1982 and 2007 (2011, 39).

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