Culture Clash or Transformation? Some Thoughts Concerning the Onslaught of Market Economy on the Internet and its Retaliation

Chapter

Abstract

In the 1980’s, the liberal/neoliberal market economy seized the global sphere and with the end of socialism/communism seems to have won its place as the only viable concept of economy. In the 1990’s and 2000’s, market economy took on the internet and in doing so, once again seems to have gained the upper hand, especially as regarding social networking, one of the main characteristics of the current web, which seems to fall prey to economic strategies. The below paper scrutinizes the problematic relation between the net and market economy on a deeper level and gives some prospects towards understanding how net-culture effects market economy itself. To that end the paper commences with a review of Rafael Capurro’s theory of messages. It then explores and queries the overall structure and dominant ends and means of the internet as envisaged by early internet theorists and empirical studies of internet usage. Visions and forms of usage are being constructed and reconstructed and it is shown that these forms of usage and their visions still dominate the net. Looking at Bernard Mandeville and Adam Smith, the structure of liberal market economy is exemplified. Loosely tying in with Jürgen Habermas’ theory of rationalities and Capurro’s message-theory, the rationalities, cultures and messages of dominant forms of usage of net and of market economy are reconstructed. The claim is then posited that market economy functions in accordance with strategic rationality, thereby creating a culture of competition defined by the message of the competitive strive towards monopoly. In contrast, the net embodies communicative, aesthetic-expressive and cooperative rationalities and creates cultures of cooperation and individualization with messages of respect and care, revealing itself as creating beauty and incentive towards cooperation. These latter rationalities, cultures and messages greatly differ from the rationality, culture and message of classical market economy. In conclusion, the below paper demonstrates that strategic rationality is incompatible with communicative, expressive and cooperative rationality, as are cultures and messages, rationalities that are endangered through the subjugation of strategic rationality, revealing their recursive effects on market economy itself. New forms of productivity emerge on the net and in the digital world. Thus the culture clash between market economy and the net may be the beginning of a transformation of market economy itself.

Keywords

Posit Product Line Kelly Defend Metaphor 

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Copyright information

© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universität AugsburgMünchenGermany

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