Platform Socialism: How to Reclaim our Digital Future from Big Tech (Paperback)
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“The book stretches our horizons and provokes aspirations within us for another possible world.”—Socialist Worker
Whoever controls the platforms, controls the future. Platform Socialism sets out an alternative vision and concrete proposals for a digital economy that expands our freedom.
Powerful tech companies now own the digital infrastructure of twenty-first century social life. Masquerading as global community builders, these companies have developed sophisticated new techniques for extracting wealth from their users. James Muldoon shows how grassroots communities and transnational social movements can take back control from Big Tech. He reframes the technology debate and proposes a host of new ideas, from the local to the international, for how we can reclaim the emancipatory possibilities of digital platforms. His chapters include:
*All the World’s a Platform
*Community-washing Big Tech
*Private Power and Public Infrastructure
*Guild Socialism for the Digital Economy
*Building Civic Platforms
*Global Digital Services
*Recoding our Digital Future
Muldoon’s book is a call to action. In his Introduction, he writes, “We need to confront the threat Big Tech currently poses to our freedom and democracy. While some of the methods are new, we shouldn’t allow the technology to obscure the fact that the basic structure is all too familiar. Platform companies set the rules of the game and benefit from the wealth we create. As individual users of the platform we have little power to affect how it is organized….Reclaiming our sense of collective self-determination requires a new kind of platform economy. How do we image an alternative that is neither private oligarchy or unaccountable state bureaucracy, an alternative outside the rule of Big Tech or Big State. The answer lies in new forms of participatory and decentralized governance which place human freedom over profits.”
Drawing on sources from forgotten histories to contemporary prototypes, he proposes an alternative system and charts a roadmap for how we can get there.
About the Author
James Muldoon is a Senior Lecturer in Political Science at the University of Exeter, Head of Digital Research at Autonomy, and YouTube philosopher at Political Philosophy. He also works directly with digital businesses transitioning to fair work practices. His writing has appeared in the Guardian, Time magazine and the Huffington Post.