Digital Marx: Toward a Political Economy of Distributed Media
This is the claim: In the age of mass media the political economy of media has engaged with Marxist concepts in a rather limited way. In the age of digital media Marxist theory could and should be applied in a much broader sense to this field of research. The article will provide a rationale for this claim with a two step approach. The first step is to produce evidence for the claim that political economy of mass media engaged with Marxist theory in a rather limited way. It is also to explain the logic behind this limited engagement. The second step – which really is the core objective of this article – is an exploration of key concepts of Marx’s political economy - such as labour, value, property and struggle - and a brief outline of their relevance for a critical analysis of digital media. These concepts are particularly relevant for a deeper understanding of phenomena such as non-market production, peer production, and the digital commons, and for interventions in debates on free culture, intellectual property, and free labour.
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