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Digital DepressionInformation Technology and Economic Crisis$
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Dan Schiller

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038761

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038761.001.0001

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Introduction

Introduction

A Contradictory Moment

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
Digital Depression
Author(s):

Dan Schiller

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252038761.003.0016

This book explores the notion of digital capitalism and its crash in 2007–2008, which it attributes to the uneven character of information and communications technology (ICT). It advances two main arguments: that the economic contributions made by ICT to digital capitalism rendered digital technology a fundamental pole of growth; and that, when it arrived, the economic crisis could be traced not only to financial speculation but to capital's multifaceted integration of digital systems into the political economy. In this account, the contradictory matrix of technological revolution and stagnation that constitutes capitalism today is highlighted. The book also elucidates the role of information and communications in the political economy's chief developmental processes, including capital's reorganization of the system of production, through fresh cycles of labor restructuring and spiking foreign direct investment; capital's concurrent ingress into finance; escalating military procurement spending; and the wide-ranging changes in the ICT sector. Finally, it considers how commodity chains bring together diverse labor systems to effect globally distributed production processes.

Keywords:   digital capitalism, commodity chains, information technology, communications technology, economic crisis, capitalism, political economy, foreign direct investment, finance, military procurement

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