De omnibus dubitandum
26 May 2009
Kevin Kelly, renowned observer of cyberculture, has written an intriguing essay for Wired on socialism in the online sphere:
“Bill Gates once derided open source advocates with the worst epithet a capitalist can muster. These folks, he said, were a “new modern-day sort of communists,” a malevolent force bent on destroying the monopolistic incentive that helps support the American dream. Gates was wrong: Open source zealots are more likely to be libertarians than commie pinkos. Yet there is some truth to his allegation. The frantic global rush to connect everyone to everyone, all the time, is quietly giving rise to a revised version of socialism.”
Kelly seems to favour a sort of decentralized technologically-enabled socialism:
“Rather than viewing technological socialism as one side of a zero-sum trade-off between free-market individualism and centralized authority, it can be seen as a cultural OS that elevates both the individual and the group at once. The largely unarticulated but intuitively understood goal of communitarian technology is this: to maximize both individual autonomy and the power of people working together. Thus, digital socialism can be viewed as a third way that renders irrelevant the old debates.”
It’s a very interesting essay and worth reading for everyone who’s interested in politics, technology, and the massive influence of cultural forces on the internet on our daily lives.