The goal of this paper is not to question the creativity of remix culture or the maker movement, or to indict their potentials for artistic expression, or negate all their criticisms of intellectual property. What I wish to criticize is the outsized economic and political claims made about it. [...]
Digital Proudhonism and its vision of federations of independent individual producers and creators (perhaps now augmented with the latest cryptographic tools) dominates the imagination of a radical challenge to digital capitalism. Its critiques of the corporate internet have become common sense. What kind of alternative radical vision is possible? Here I believe it is useful to return to the core of Marx’s critique of Proudhon.
The socialization of production under the development of the means of production—the necessity of greater collaboration and the reliance on past labors in the form of machines—gives way to a radical redefinition of the relationship to one’s output. No one can claim a product was made by them alone; rather, production demands to be recognized as social. [...]
[...] The romance of “DIY” obscures the reality that nothing digital is done by oneself: it is always already a component of a larger formation of socialized labor.
!!! so good