Digital Capitalism: Networking the Global Market System

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MIT Press, 1999 - Technology & Engineering - 294 pages

Schiller traces the transformation of the Internet from government, military, and educational tool to agent of "digital capitalism" through three critically important and interlinked realms.

The networks that comprise cyberspace were originally created at the behest of government agencies, military contractors, and allied educational institutions. Over the past generation or so, however, a growing number of these networks began to serve primarily corporate users. Under the sway of an expansionary market logic, the Internet began a political-economic transition toward what Dan Schiller calls "digital capitalism."

Schiller traces these metamorphoses through three critically important and interlinked realms. Parts I and II deal with the overwhelmingly "neoliberal" or market-driven policies that influence and govern the telecommunications system and their empowerment of transnational corporations while at the same time exacerbating exisiting social inequalities. Part III shows how cyberspace offers uniquely supple instruments with which to cultivate and deepen consumerism on a transnational scale, especially among privileged groups. Finally, Part IV shows how digital capitalism has already overtaken education, placing it at the mercy of a proprietary market logic.


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"Most investors,' Shiller writes, 'also sem to view the stock market as a force of nature unto itself. they do not fully realize that they themselves, as a group, determine the level of the market. And they understimate how similar to their own tinking is that of other investors. Many individual investors think that institutional invetors dominate the market and that these ´smart money´ invesors have sophisticated models to understand pries, superior knowledge. little do they know most instituional investors are, by and large, equally cluelss about he levl of the maket, In short, the price level is driven to a certain extent by a self-fullfilling prophecy based on similar hunches by a vast cross section of large and smala investors and reinforced by nes media that are often content to ratify this investors-induced cnventional wisdom." (Shiller, p. xv apud MARAZZI, 2008, p. 16) 


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