Information as Work and as Value

  • Marcos Dantas Escola de Comunicação da Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (ECO-UFRJ)
Keywords: value, information, negentropy, communication, capital, Marx, random work, redundant work, informational rents


This article suggests an approach to Marx's capital valorisation theory supported by a dialectical information theory as developed by physicians, biologists and also communication theorists during the second half of the 20th century. It suggests that it is possible to link the basic concepts of information, as science has established it, to Marx's basic concepts of capital. Based on this foundation, this article also tries to explain how capital, in its development, has evolved to discharge redundant or repetitive jobs but has become increasingly dependent on random or creative ones. Because of this circumstance, in its present stage, the capitalist production process creates value in many concrete forms of semiotic information. Because information cannot be reduced to the status of a commodity, as the theory explains, capitalist states and corporations are improving and hardening the intellectual property laws in order to appropriate the information value created by "creative" or "artistic" work.

Author Biography

Marcos Dantas, Escola de Comunicação da Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (ECO-UFRJ)

Marcos Dantas is Professor at the Communication School of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (ECO-UFRJ). He hold a doctorate (DSc) in Industrial Engineering from COPPE-UFRJ. He is a researcher in the Communication and Culture Postgraduate Program at ECO-UFRJ and in the Information Science Postgraduate Program at IBICT/ECO-UFRJ. He is also a member of the Brazilian Internet Steering Committee ( He was also Planning and Budget Secretary of the Brazilian Ministry of Communication, the Distance Education Secretary of the Brazilian Ministry of Education, and member of the Consultative Commission of the National Telecommunications Agency. He is also a member of the Deliberative Council of Celso Furtado International Centre for Development and former President of the Latin Union of Information, Communication and Culture – Brazilian Chapter (ULEPICC-Br). Professor Dantas’ most important books are A lógica do capital-informação (1996), Trabalho com informação (2012), Comunicações, Desenvolvimento, Democracia (2013). URL: