In this blog we keep you updated about the books we are reading, what we learnt from them and how they inspire us and our work. Spreading politics and economics, technology and ecology, this blog is our collective reading list.
Entry 9 – 12 – 2020
“I am reading the 2017 book Ours to Hack and to Own edited by Trebor Scholz and Nathan Schneider, who have been the main advocates of the ‘platform cooperativism’ movement. Platform cooperativism provides an alternative way of thinking about the internet, labour and the so-called sharing economy, underpinned by principles of democracy and collective ownership.
I love this book because it gives an insight into how we can organize the Internet differently, without monopolies, surveillance and exploitation. This quote of Nathan Schneider says it all: “Why does a village in Denmark have to generate value for some fifty people in Silicon Valley when they can have their own version of Airbnb?”.
Ours to Hack and to Own basically says: a different internet is possible. And it is already happening. The book has drawn my attention to the ideas, people and cooperatives that shape this new world.
“In this book, published this fall, the Economic Anthropologist Jason Hickel tells a story on how our economy actually works, hereby revealing clues about how we can change it. I would recommend it to all of those eager to be engaged in having a meaningful dialogue on how a post-capitalist economy organized around human flourishing and ecological well-being rather then endless capital accumulation, may look like.
I love how Hickel brings in a more anthropological perspective to the degrowth discourse, as he makes the connections between the rise of capitalism and that of a dualistic worldview. As Hickel points out, ‘the real problem of capitalism lies in the realm of ontology – in our theory of being’. Dualist philosophy considers humans as separate from and superior to nature, and it is what many growing up in capitalist societies have been thought to believe. It is built on ideas of thinkers like Plato and Descartes. As Hickel argues, dualism is responsible at a deep level for our ecological crisis.
An amazingly thought-out and inspiring read!”