A Guide to Understanding and Combatting Digital Capitalism

  • Javier de Rivera Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Keywords: platform capitalism, digital domination, general Intellect, alternatives, autonomous spaces, collective thought.


This article offers a general description of digital capitalism, understood as a system in which social and economic dynamics revolve around digital corporations and their infrastructures. The aim of this analysis is to help develop strategies to counteract capitalism. It takes an historical perspective, considering capitalism as an evolving system driven by a continuous flight from the law of diminishing returns. Fixed Capital and General Intellect are addressed as key analytical concepts for understanding the role of technology in capitalism, particularly in the digital era. Subjectivity formation is also a key element, as capitalism needs to progressively improve its strategies of ideological manipulation in order to survive. In the conclusion, I present five strategic principles to counteract digital capitalism. These strategies were developed in the Grupo de Estudios Críticos de Madrid (GEC-Madrid), an interdisciplinary group created in 2018 by the National Museum Reina Sofia (Spain) in order to coordinate the cycle “Six Contradictions and the End of the Present”, a series of lectures and workshops with internationally recognized scholars, followed by research seminars to discuss their ideas.