Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Deregulatory p2p Is Far From the "Wave of the Future"

Awesome pay-off line of Tom Slee's recent Open Letter to Tim Wu:
The Randian, simplistic free-market thoughtlessness behind the wave of "peer-to-peer" companies, and especially those who are trying to uproot regulations that protect consumers, is far from the wave of the future: it's hucksterism masquerading as progress, hubris as vision, callous selfishness as community-mindedness, and it's a disaster waiting to happen.
The sweeping character of that line is actually not representative, and I call it a "pay off line" because the piece pays for it by being marvelously thoughtful, measured, and well-substantiated all the way to the end. It is useful to recall that the "Wave of the Future" was the title of a reactionary pop-tech paleo-futurological volume by Anne Lindbergh in 1940. Like Movement Republicanism (Kim Phillips-Fein tells the story in Invisible Hands), corporate-military futurology was also born in the belly of the beast of reactionary resistance to the New Deal.

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