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96

The Internet and Capitalism I: Where Dinosaurs Roam?

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W. McChesney, R. (2013). The Internet and Capitalism I: Where Dinosaurs Roam?. In W. McChesney, R. Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism is Turning the Internet Against Democracy. The New Press, pp. 96-129

97

The tremendous promise of the digital revolution has been compromised by capitalist appropriation and development of the Internet. In the great conflict between openness and a closed system of corporate profitability, the forces of capital have triumphed whenever an issue mattered to them. The Internet has been subjected to the capital-accumulation process, which has a clear logic of its own, inimical to much of the democratic potential of digital communication. What seemed to be an increasingly open public sphere, removed from the world of commodity exchange, seems to be morphing into a private sphere of increasingly closed, proprietary, even monopolistic markets. The extent of this capitalist colonization of the Internet has not been as obtrusive as it might have been, because the vast reaches of cyberspace have continued to permit noncommercial utilization, although increasingly on the margins.

In this chapter I assess how capitalism conquered the Internet—an institution that was singularly noncommercial, even anticommercial, for its first two decades—in the 1990s and what the consequences have been subsequently. by capitalism I mean the really existing capitalism of large corporations, monopolistic markets, advertising, public relations, and close, collegial, important, necessary, and often corrupt relationships with the government and the military [...]

—p.97 by Robert W. McChesney 2 years, 6 months ago

The tremendous promise of the digital revolution has been compromised by capitalist appropriation and development of the Internet. In the great conflict between openness and a closed system of corporate profitability, the forces of capital have triumphed whenever an issue mattered to them. The Internet has been subjected to the capital-accumulation process, which has a clear logic of its own, inimical to much of the democratic potential of digital communication. What seemed to be an increasingly open public sphere, removed from the world of commodity exchange, seems to be morphing into a private sphere of increasingly closed, proprietary, even monopolistic markets. The extent of this capitalist colonization of the Internet has not been as obtrusive as it might have been, because the vast reaches of cyberspace have continued to permit noncommercial utilization, although increasingly on the margins.

In this chapter I assess how capitalism conquered the Internet—an institution that was singularly noncommercial, even anticommercial, for its first two decades—in the 1990s and what the consequences have been subsequently. by capitalism I mean the really existing capitalism of large corporations, monopolistic markets, advertising, public relations, and close, collegial, important, necessary, and often corrupt relationships with the government and the military [...]

—p.97 by Robert W. McChesney 2 years, 6 months ago