I recently gave a talk on ‘surveillance capitalism’ at the Amsterdam Graduate Conference in Political Theory. In it, I argue that surveillance capitalist firms – such as Facebook and Google – interact with users in a way analagous to the interaction between industrial capitalists and workers described by Karl Marx.
The key texts are Shoshana Zuboff’s paper ‘The Big Other’, and her book ‘The Age of Surveillance Capitalism’. If you want to know more about Marx’s economic theory, I recommend starting with the simple version in ‘Wage Labour and Capital’, before moving onto the official account in volume one of ‘Capital’. I was helped to understand the latter by reading it alongside Prof. David Harvey’s lectures.
Here’s my talk.