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  • The Economy of Digitality: Limitless Virtual Space and Network Time

    Robert Hassan

    Chapter from the book: Hassan, R. 2020. The Condition of Digitality: A Post-Modern Marxism for the Practice of Digital Life.


    This chapter considers the economy of digitality and how Harvey’s idea of ‘time-space compression’ becomes significant taking on dramatically new features through digitality through ‘outward’ and ‘inward’ globalisation. ‘Outward’ globalisation is the processes of colonisation of the physical space of the planet by markets, production and the sourcing of raw materials and approached its spatial limits by the 1990s with the incorporation of the BRIC economies into global capitalism. What Harvey termed ‘flexible accumulation’ is rendered increasingly digital and becomes an immensely more powerful element of the capital relation. Pervasive commodification colonises – not least through the creation of a new and limitless virtual space – almost every register of life in an ‘inward’ globalisation process inserting and simultaneously introducing a collective dependence upon digital technologies super-charging the global economy. It is the process of ‘inward’ globalisation that makes possible the hitherto impossible feats of collective social communication such as Facebook, Uber, Google, Weibo, and so on. This process of ‘inward’ globalisation was enabled, and its path smoothed, by the ideological triumph of the ‘Californian Ideology’ ‘alternative thinking’ that promulgated the idea that human freedom can best be attained not through the institutions of modern politics, but through networked computers.

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    Hassan, R. 2020. The Economy of Digitality: Limitless Virtual Space and Network Time. In: Hassan, R, The Condition of Digitality. London: University of Westminster Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16997/book44.e

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    Published on Jan. 10, 2020