Monatsarchive: August 2019

An Unsettling Question for Digital Capitalism

/****** This Essay was first published in German at „Aus Politik und Zeitgeschehen“ and also as an extended version on this blog. The translation was provided by Lisa Contag. ******/ A spectre is haunting (not only) Europe — the spectre of digital capitalism. And as is fitting for the times we live in, it comes in many shapes and colours: as information capitalism, data capitalism, platform capitalism, surveillance capitalism and cognitive capitalism. A multitude of digital capitalisms have come into existence, however, they essentially indicate the same thing: that we are witnessing fundamental changes. And this exact point leads me to the unsettling question: is this still capitalism? When using the word “unsettling”, I don’t mean the discomfort the authors of numerous and diverse characterizations of digital capitalism obsess about. My goal is not to demonstrate that capitalism’s new digital variety is worse than all its predecessors. My unease rather concerns capitalism itself. I figuratively place my hand on its shoulder, as it were, and quietly ask: “Everything ok there, capitalism?” While many authors identify capitalism to have further radicalized in its digital version, my impression is the opposite. I believe capitalism isn’t doing well at all in the digital … Weiterlesen

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