The Digital Tech Deal: a socialist framework for the 21st century
Race & Class, 2022 (https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/03063968211064478)
Posted: 18 Nov 2021 Last revised: 14 Nov 2022
Date Written: September 1, 2021
The twenty-first century global economy is largely driven by Big Tech and, more broadly, digital capitalism. This is a global phenomenon, with US power at the centre preying on global markets through the process of digital colonialism. Mainstream antidotes to the ills of Big Tech and digital capitalism are US/Eurocentric and revolve around a collection of liberal and progressive capitalist reforms, including anti-trust, limited privacy laws, unionisation of Big Tech, algorithmic discrimination and content moderation – all of which are conceived within a capitalist framework which ignores or neglects digital colonialism and the twenty-first century ecological crisis, despite their analytical and moral centrality to contemporary political economy.
This author argues that a combination of political, economic and social alternatives based on a Digital Tech Deal are needed to turn the tide against digital colonisation, entailing the socialisation of knowledge and infrastructure; passing socialist laws that support digital socialism; and new narratives about the tech ecosystem. These solutions are to be nested within an anti-colonial, eco-socialist framework that embraces degrowth to ensure environmental sustainability and socioeconomic justice.
Keywords: antitrust, Big Tech, degrowth, digital colonialism, digital socialism, Digital Tech Deal, GAFAM, New Deal
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