Part three of a great series on the role of technology in the political economy. All three are with reading, but this concluding article is great.
Combining the ambition of a national, systemic-scale transformation, rather than ameliorative politics, that the re-embrace of “socialism” seems to mark as the new goal of the American left, with the experimental, commons-oriented and cooperative practices that have emerged out of the networked environment seems to me one of the most promising avenues to pursue. Harnessing that intensive experimentation and practical utopianism of online communities, and avoiding the twin errors of treating technology as an exogenous force or as strictly dominated by institutional factors is the biggest payoff of the effort to integrate technology and law into the field of political economy. Only if we understand how institutions and ideology shape and interact with the economy, polity, and technology can we develop such a coherent program; and only such a coherent program can be broad and systematic enough to change the course of the economy that neoliberals have built for us in the past forty years.