The New Economic Events Giving Lie to the Fiction That We Are All Selfish, Rational Materialists
The commons lies at the heart of a major cultural and social shift now underway.
Jeremy Rifkin’s new book, “The Zero Marginal Cost Society,” brings welcome new attention to the commons just as it begins to explode in countless new directions. His book focuses on one of the most significant vectors of commons-based innovation — the Internet and digital technologies — and documents how the incremental costs of nearly everything is rapidly diminishing, often to zero. Rifkin explored the sweeping implications of this trend in an excerpt from his book and points to the “eclipse of capitalism” in the decades ahead.
The thought is right here, but is it true? As one promotes the idea of communism, full trappings of revolution, the impulse arises to consider if economic systems will evolve naturally to postcapitalism. Thus we see the concealed wish behind this article. Rifkin is a clever salesman and packager, but, despite the interest of this analysis, I remain unconvinced that capitalism will transcend itself.
We can’t afford to get it wrong, and I fear the elites will destroy any such tendency