About the second socialization conference

Last weekend over 300 people gathered north of Berlin for the second „let’s socialize“ conference. The main topic: Socialization (as in: democratic control over the economy instead of competition by privately-owned, for-profit corporations). I was lucky to get a spot as the organizers followed a rather strick diversity guideline which resulted into middle-aged-white-cis-men like myself not dominating for a change. The conference was masterfully organized in other areas as well. Meals, location and moderation worked like a charm. The whole […]

Kapitalismus – Leseempfehlungen zum kritischen Einstieg

Die wenigsten Menschen, mit denen ich im wissenschaftlichen oder politischen Kontext spreche, würden „den Kapitalismus“ aktiv verteidigen. Im Gegenteil: Auf die ein oder andere Weise befassen sich die meisten sogar ehrenamtlich, aktivistisch oder im Rahmen von Forschungsprojekten mit bestimmten Symptomen des Kapitalismus, z.B. damit, wie er die Entwicklung und den Einsatz von neuen Technologien korrumpiert oder wie er bestimmte Menschengruppen systematisch abwertet. Gleichzeitig habe ich „den Kapitalismus“ nicht zufällig in Anführungszeichen gesetzt. Zwar besteht ein diffuses Bewusstsein darüber, dass der […]

The Left Needs To Stop Idolizing The GDPR

Digital policy is not exactly home turf for the European left. Other issues like social justice and antifascism align much more naturally with its political tradition. When it comes to the digital transformation however the position of the left is less focused. Some call out the exploitation of workers who clean up the training data for large language models (branded as “artificial intelligence” by those who profit from it). Others focus on digital violence against marginalized groups or deal with the spreading of right-wing ideology via social media. All these issues are crucial. Their discussion, however, is rarely embedded into a coherent understanding of the role of data processing within the current social and economic order. These issues are at risk of being discussed as isolated symptoms without connection to their systemic causes.

Subsuming The Digital

How can capitalism, a system that serves the privilege of few and necessitates the misery of many, remain the unchallenged status quo for centuries? While this question certainly poses great academic appeal it is more than theoretical. Answering the question of capitalisms persistence not only helps to locate possible entry points for today’s political actions. It also provides us with the tools to identify socio-technological developments that could further fortify its economic and social dominance. Among those ideas that warrants thorough examination regarding its role in fortifying capitalisms dominance is Web3.