“Worldwide use of social media and the information delivered is crushing the basic assumptions of wealth redistribution with information redistribution.”
2013 is officially a red-media date. Most newspapers, most national media and most online journalists will continue steep declines in readership/followings. Red ink is flowing.
In a sinister sale, Al Gore’s Current TV was sold last week to “dirty, big-oil-funded Al Jazeera” in the Middle East. (So much for “carbon footprints” and “global warming.”)
So you’re strapped in the social media hot seat. Enjoying the ride? Waiting for this brave new world of the collaboration economy to go mainstream. Then it hits you.
Does doing social media make me a socialist?
Surely that’s what the collaboration economy is? The sharing of ideas, everyone working together for the common good, of course there are tribal elements to this too. Not everyone is paid the same; there are currently a number of different tribal leaders that we can choose to follow. As yet, there is no formal “politburo.”
As Peter Kim argues that social media is not socialism he makes what many scholars would say is a basic error in quoting Wikipedia’s definition. Indeed it is not. In fact, worldwide use of social media and the information delivered is crushing the basic assumptions of wealth redistribution with information redistribution.
In this age of self-publication, there are many vehicles to choose on how to distribute.
That would rule out the state controlling the means of production and as we have already discussed, not everyone is paid the same for their contributions. There again Marx was writing in an era where the ability to publish was strictly controlled.
The other argument about content distribution and plagerizing is at the heart of where social media moves next. The US is making a huge push to protect intellectual property. However, ever since journalism started, there have been plagiarists that have profited from the work of others. One of the few things we can use to differentiate with others is interviews; the problem lies in that whenever quotes are published, they are free to be used by anyone.
Social media today is built upon content aggregators, creative commons, “free distribution” and the sharing of ideas. It is this latter point that is where social media could most likely be described as socialism.
I am sure you have seen people pop up in your stream who ask your opinion on something where you suspect you are doing their consultancy for them. If the passing of knowledge is circular via groups then something like #blogchat is an ideal example of socialist idea sharing.
Here you have a mix of capitalist consulting meeting the hive-mind/collective knowledge of a group of people that give an hour of their time and experience for the greater good. I have no doubt that there are people making money indirectly through tweet chats asides the moderators that may sell services.
Major sports have socialism elements to them, through either the draft system or revenue sharing or both. Plenty of worldwide health systems, pension and welfare have socialist elements to them. The National Health Service in the UK is socialist but the country is ruled by a Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition. Hardly socialist.
Just as capitalists can pick and choose the elements of social media that are capitalist, surely the opposite can apply to socialism?
Like many arguments, especially political ones, when it comes down to it we are all complex beings, picking and choosing elements that fit into our overall viewpoint. With both capitalist and socialist elements to social media, a system that relies on human interaction will be as diverse and complex as the people that contribute to it.
Social media is freedom! Thus it cannot be socialistic and in fact bypasses the fundamentals of a controlled, messaged population. Take that “socialism.”