The Making of a cybertariat? Virtual work in a real world

Ursula Huws

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This essay takes as its starting point a conception of capitalism as a dynamic force whose engine proceeds by the interrelated processes of commodification and accumulation. On the one hand it seeks insatiably for new commodities from the production of which surplus value can be extracted, and on the other for new markets to fuel its voracious expansion. New commodities arise either from the drawing into the cash economy of activities which were previously carried out by unpaid labour, for gift or exchange, or by the elaboration of existing commodities. Human activities and needs thus stand at either end of the process: production and consumption. The inevitable impetus is towards a complete industrialization of the globe, with the entire population involved on the one hand in contributing towards the production or circulation of commodities and the capital accumulation process in some capacity, and on the other in an ever-greater dependence on the purchase of these commodities for their survival
Original languageEnglish
JournalSocialist Register 2001: Working Classes, Global Realities
Publication statusPublished - 2001


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