Cyberlibertarianism: The Digital Deletion of the Left

I’m very happy to have a piece appear in Jacobin: A Magazine of Culture and Polemic, titled “Cyberlibertarians’ Digital Deletion of the Left” (I’ve given this blog entry my original title, which fits more neatly with the work I’ve been writing recently on cyberlibertarianism. The piece begins by posing a question that I hope most of us on the Left are thinking hard about:

The digital revolution, we are told everywhere today, produces democracy. It gives “power to the people” and dethrones authoritarians; it levels the playing field for distribution of information critical to political engagement; it destabilizes hierarchies, decentralizes what had been centralized, democratizes what was the domain of elites.

Most on the Left would endorse these ends. The widespread availability of tools whose uses are harmonious with leftist goals would, one might think, accompany broad advancement of those goals in some form. Yet the Left today is scattered, nearly toothless in most advanced democracies. If digital communication technology promotes leftist values, why has its spread coincided with such a stark decline in the Left’s political fortunes?

The full piece is available on the Jacobin website. .

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