Geert Lovink on Fri, 16 Oct 2015 18:59:38 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> 20 years Californian Ideology!

Dear nettimers,

we're proud to present the 20th anniversary edition of the nettime
classic The Californian Ideology.

Richard Barbrook and Andy Cameron's The Californian Ideology,
originally published in 1995 by Mute magazine and the nettime
mailinglist, is the iconic text of the first wave of Net criticism. The
internet might have fundamentally changed in the last two decades, but
their demolition of the neoliberal orthodoxies of Silicon Valley remains
shocking and provocative. They question the cult of the dot-com
entrepreneur, challenging the theory of technological determinism and
refuting the myths of American history. Denounced as the work of
'looney lefties' by Silicon Valley's boosters when it first
appeared, The Californian Ideology has since been vindicated by the
corporate take-over of the Net and the exposure of the NSA's mass
surveillance programmes.

Published in 1999 at the peak of the dot-com bubble, Richard
Barbrook's Cyber-Communism offers an alternative vision of the shape
of things to come, inspired by Marshall McLuhan's paradoxical
'thought probes'. With the Californian Ideology growing stronger,
the Net was celebrated as the mechanical perfection of neoliberal
economics. Barbrook shows how this futurist prophecy is borrowed from
America's defunct Cold War enemy: Stalinist Russia. Technological
progress was the catalyst of social transformation. With copyright
weakening, intellectual commodities were mutating into gifts. Invented
in capitalist America, the Net in the late-1990s had become the first
working model of communism in human history.

In an introduction written specially for this 20th anniversary edition,
Richard Barbrook takes a fresh look at the hippie capitalists who shaped
Silicon Valley and explains how their influence continues to this day.
These thought probes are still relevant in understanding the
contradictory impact of ubiquitous social media within the modern world.
As McLuhan had insisted, theoretical provocation creates political

Richard Barbrook is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Politics and
International Relations at the University of Westminster, London,
England. He is a trustee of Cybersalon and a founder member of Class
Wargames. He has written about the politics of the Net and gaming in his
books Media Freedom: The Contradictions of Communications in the Age of
Modernity; The Class of the New; Imaginary Futures: From Thinking
Machines to the Global Village; and Class Wargames: Ludic Subversion
Against Spectacular Capitalism.

Institute of Network Cultures Network Notebook No. 10--The Internet
Revolution: From Dot-com Capitalism to Cybernetica Communism by Richard
Barbrook, with Andy Cameron.

Series editors: Geert Lovink and Miriam Rasch. Design: Medamo,
Rotterdam. EPUB development: Andr?? Castro. Printer: Printvisie.
Publisher: Institute of Network Cultures, Amsterdam 2015. ISBN:

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