The idea that we are entering an era of techno-feudalism that will be worse than capitalism is chilling and controversial. We asked former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis to elucidate this idea, explain how we got here, and map out some alternatives.

  • @cucumber_sandwich
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    183 months ago

    There is a difference however. The techno feudalists are no longer about the means of production. Instead they increasingly show rent-seeking behaviour. Businesses looking to own “market places” and becoming brokers of other people’s services is a techni feudalist trend. Take Amazon for example. They sell top spots in their search directly to business customers. An app store monopoly is more akin to land ownership than classic factory capitalism.

    • Alien Nathan Edward
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      103 months ago

      okay but land ownership and rent seeking are inherent, inevitable parts of capitalism. Even Smith talked about how rent-seeking is an unavoidable outcome of a system where one person can own what another needs, and about how in order to succeed capitalism will require some way of discouraging or taxing rent-seeking. “As soon as the land of any country has all become private property, the landlords, like all other men, love to reap where they never sowed and demand a rent even for its natural produce.” This isn’t a new phenomenon and it’s not a return to pre-capitalism, it’s capitalism doing what we all new it was going to do from the beginning.

    • @banneryear1868
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      63 months ago

      Problem I have with calling this a feudal arrangement is a lot of serfs actually had family rights to their land/means of production under land tenure agreements. It’s more the notion of private ownership of land and production that has led to these private technology increasingly mediating more of our lives. I’ve seen the concept of technofeudalism used in good ways but the overall thing is capitalism and they are more elements of feudal type arrangement within that.

      • Alien Nathan Edward
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        43 months ago

        Precisely this. The few rights that feudal peasants did have are being ferreted out as “inefficiencies”