Details for 'Technofeudalism' by Yanis Varoufakis
The author is the former finance minister of Greece who once attracted a lot of media attention for the engaging and provocative manner in which he shared his knowledge and experience, making economics seem understandable and accessible. He has written several bestselling books and there's certainly plenty of information here to ponder though I'm not sure what to do with it.
He claims that we have entered a new economic era. Capitalism is dead and now the owners of big tech have become the world's feudal overlords.
It's not a cheery message, it has to be said, but his presentation of the facts makes compelling reading, and forewarned is forearmed...or something?
He tells us how capitalism came about, how emotions were commoditized when we had all we actually needed, and then how markets and profit were replaced by big tech's platforms and rents. And now every time we click and scroll we are delivering more information and more power to these businesses, hence technofeudalism.
He explains what is happening every time we give Alexa an instruction, for example, and how the Tesla car is gathering more information about us than our journey or energy consumption. Also how the huge sums of money that were supposed to re-float our economies in the wake of the financial crisis and the pandemic have ended up supercharging big tech's hold over every aspect of the economy.
He uses examples from Greek mythology as well as pop culture to present the current situation and our future prospects in what is a very readable argument. It is fascinating, and a little bit terrifying. Important reading, I would suggest?