Winter Break of Code, Day Five
Understanding digital privacy under capitalism
If commodities could speak, they would say this: our use-value may interest men [sic], but it does not belong to us as objects. What does belong to us as objects, however, is our value. Our own intercourse as commodities proves it. We relate to each other merely as exchange-values.
– Marx, Capital: A Critique of Political Economy, Vol 1.
Thus spake the commodity
Marx saw modernity more acutely than most of his contemporaries, and provided a description of capitalism that remains, in my opinion, quite useful.
However, we must be brave enough to attempt to understand his description of the relationship between commodity and value in the context of a world very different from Industrial Revolution-era Europe. That is, one which includes the strange new primordial soup of the internet and capital.
Imagine, as Marx expects of us in the passage above, that an “internet” commodity could speak. What would it say?