The digital revolution and its discontents

In this talk, Tanner Mirrlees scrutinizes the rhetorics of “technological optimism,” “technological pessimism,” and “technological revolutionism,” discusses the political economy of communication, highlights how capitalism’s basic logics endure in the “digital age,” and concludes with an overview of how workers, citizens, and publics are trying to redesign and rebuild the digital age in support of working class power, participatory democracy, and social justice. After discussing the digital revolution’s social discontents, Mirrlees calls for a radical “redesign” and “rebuild” of digital technology and society in support of an ecologically sustainable future where all are freed from the realm of necessity and in which all are empowered to participate in democracy.

The talk was recorded for Aion Network’s Rebuild Genesis conference, April 23-24, 2019. All talks (including Robert McChesney’s keynote, “The History of the Internet’s Corporate Owners”) are available on YouTube.

Further Reading:

Tanner Mirrlees (2019), “Power, privilege and resistance in the digital age,” The Monitor, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

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