The article revisits the tradition of religious socialism as a potential resource for the information age. It begins with a detailed exposition and defence of the ideas of network society theorist Manuel Castells. However, the article questions Castells’ reliance on contemporary social movements as a response to what he calls the bipolar opposition between the net and the self. Arguing for a more universal and ontological solution, it seeks to reappropriate the nineteenth-century Christian socialism of Maurice, Ludlow and Kingsley, specifically their powerful doctrine of mere brotherhood. Updated as the fellowship of the net, the brotherhood and sisterhood of humankind under the fatherhood of God turns into an attractive and plausible twenty-first century ideal.
See for example Sami Coll‘Power, Knowledge, and the Subjects of Privacy: Understanding Privacy as the Ally of Surveillance’Information Communication and Society17:10 (2014) 1250–63; David Lyon ed. Theorizing Surveillance: The Panopticon and Beyond (Cullompton: Willan Publishing 1996); Eric Stoddart Theological Perspectives on a Surveillance Society: Watching and Being Watched (Farnham: Ashgate 2011).
See especially Philip N. BackstromChristian Socialism and Co-operation in Victorian England: Edward Vansittart Neale and the Co-operative Movement (London: Croom Helm1974); Torben Christensen Origin and History of Christian Socialism 1848–54 (Aarhus: Unversitetsforlaget i Aarhus 1962); Edward Norman The Victorian Christian Socialists (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1987).
David Reisman ed.Democratic Socialism in Britain: Classic Texts in Economic and Political Thought 1825–1952 Vol. 2: Frederick Denison Maurice Charles Kingsley and John Malcolm Ludlow the Christian Socialists (London: Pickering and Chatto1996).
Christian Fuchs‘Information and Communication Technologies and Society: A Contribution to the Critique of the Political Economy of the Internet’European Journal of Communication24:1 (2009) 69–87 at 78.