Future of property

  • Created by: Nikki
  • Created on: 20-04-15 17:21

Age of Access

Jeremy Rifkin 

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Hypercapitalism (1)

New phase of capitalism --> very different

Owning property is outdated


We are a means of production but don't necessarily own what we produce --> don't necessarily care --> facebook

Companies base their worth on how much of our time they own

Commerce as primary institution --> culturea s derivative --> breakdown of social trust --> catastrophic

  • Changes
    • business assumption
    • economic power
    • government
    • defining ourselves
    • nature of employment
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Hypercapitalism (2)

Control of few powerful transnational media companies who own pipelines over which people communicate

Giant media conglomerates and content providers as 'gatekeepers' who determine terms and conditions upon which access is purchased

Questions of institutional power and freedom more important under hypercapitalism

Way out through social movements such as campaigns for biodiversity or cultural diversity that underscore the local and the historical

Generation gap

Social and economic gap

Gap between the connected and disconnected --> 2 different societies 

Society only held together by commercial bonds --> much weaker than cultural/social bonds

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Networked economy

Access --> short term use of products

Networks more important than markets

No buyers and sellers only suppliers and users and servers and clients

Become affected in more Hegelian sense --> electronic connections

Market comes to you through your computer

24/7 contractual arrangements, network relationships and access rights

Intellectual capital as driving force --> rarely exchanged, just leased

Businessess already making the transition

  • pooling and sharing collective resources - physical property as an expense - outsourcing activities - strategic alliances - co-sourcing - gain-sharing agreements

Commercial succss depends on long-term commercial relationships --> e.g give aways

Consumers beginning to make the shift

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Top 1/5

Lower 4/5 still in Lockeian notion of property

Multiple personas

Dependent on others to confirm the various parts of fragmented identity

Being connected more important than owning property

Play ethos

Defined themselves as 'creative performers' who adapt well between different scripts and situtions, expecially in virtual world

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Proteans (2)


  • lack socialising experiences and attention span necessary to orm frameowrk to understand world around them

More positive approach

  • more flexible personlity
  • more interdependent and embedded means of perceiving reality
  • more cooperative than competitive
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Commodification of experience

Lifetime Value of the consumer --> LTV

  • worth if every moement of life commodified in commercial sphere
  • each life as commercial market
  • buy our existence in small commercial segments

Selling of cultural experiences and human experiences

Human time = scarce resource = commodified

Everything outside of family relations is paid for experience --> all time is commercial time

Risk of overexploitation and depletion of cultural resources --> sustainability 

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Why are these changes taking place?

Speed of economic activity in market-based transaction too slow --> all products are 'information intensive' and continually upgraded so treated more as services one accesses than goods one acquires

E-commerce reduces market-based transaction costs towards zero, narrowing taditional profit margins on sales related activity

Information and tleecommunications technologies allow for continuous flow of economic activity, transforming commerce from linear sequence to cyclical process

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4 key areas


  • acessed, not owned
  • pay for short-term access to resources


  • protean
  • multiple personalities --> adapt to various virtual world and situations
  • dependent on others to confirm various parts of their fragmented personality --> Hegelian


  • influence greatly reduced --> more emphasis on the economy since everything is paid for


  • personal freedom has less to do with right of possession and ability to exclude others and more to do with right to be included in webs of mutual relationships
  • idea of freedom threatened by breakdown in trust due to new precedence of commerce over culture
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Nick Couldry article

Interconnections between consumer and citizen are important

'plugged in monad' model

'pro-sumer' --> hybrid consumer and producer

Citizenship not necessarily to nation state but instead to more loosely bounded zone of public concern

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Traditional economy

  •  markets
  • sellers and buyers
  • long-term ownership of property
  •  products as market
  • objects that is scarce resource which becomes commodified
  • maximising production and sales is critical to optimizing income
  • profit made by both volume and margins of sales trasnactions
  • competition
  • culture precedes commerce
  • industrial production
  • employment à humans in all industries
  • capitalist markets
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Network economy

  • networks
  • suppliers, users, servers and clients
  • short-term access to property
  • experiences as market --> cultural production
  • human time that is scarce resource which becomes commodified --> LTV
  • minimising production is more likely to result in optimisation of income
  • profits made by pooling risks, sharing savings and entering into ‘gain sharing’ agreements
  •  cooperation
  •  culture is commercialised and becomes derivative
  • protean persona
  • intellectual capital as driving force
  • employment of machines in production industries; humans in cultural industries
  • virtually every activity outside confines of family relations is paid-for experience
  • IP law
  • Hypercapitalism
  • Near-zero marginal costs of production and distribution
  • Monopoly of those who control networks and access à giant media conglomerates
  • Digital divide
  • collaborative commons
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