Technocapitalism, the Intangible Economy, and Economic Centralization

In: Perspectives on Global Development and Technology
Alec Stubbs Loyola University Chicago Chicago, IL USA

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The aim of this article is to analyze the underlying economic structures which have led to the rise of the tech giants. In their book Capitalism without Capital: The Rise of the Intangible Economy, economists Jonathan Haskel and Stian Westlake outline the four fundamental features of the technocapitalist (or what they consider the intangible) economy. Key to the emerging intangible economy, they suggest, are the four “S’s” of this new form of capitalism, viz., scalability, sunkenness, synergies, and spillovers. In the following, I explicate the ways in which, if taken seriously, these four features of the technocapitalist economy tend towards heightened levels of economic centralization and economic inequality as compared to those experienced under industrial capitalism.

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