In the first two sections of Capital, Volume 2, Marx examines the factors that pressure capital to reduce its circulation and turnover times at the limit of zero. By doing so, he shines a light on the role played by transportation and communications industries in the accumulation process and the reasons that these sectors are important frontiers of productive capital investment and surplus value extraction. This article suggests how the Internet’s social-digital platforms, such as Google, Facebook, Amazon and Airbnb, work according to the logic expounded by Marx, thus generating extraordinary profits for financial capital. Also, because of this Marxian logic, the main source of these huge platforms’ profits is the informational work done by millions of people who access these websites to engage in recreational activities or to meet the demands for goods and services in a Society of the Spectacle (Debord) subsumed into commodity fetishism.
This article suggests an approach to Marx’s capital valorisation theory supported by a dialectical information theory as developed by physicians, biologists and also communication theorists during the second half of the 20th century. It suggests that it is possible to link the basic concepts of information, as science has established them, to Marx’s basic concepts of capital. Based on this foundation, this article also tries to explain how capital, in its development, has evolved to discharge redundant or repetitive jobs but has become increasingly dependent on random or creative ones. Because of this circumstance, in its present stage, the capitalist production process creates value in many concrete forms of semiotic information. Because information cannot be reduced to the status of a commodity, as the theory explains, capitalist states and corporations are improving and hardening intellectual property laws in order to appropriate the information value created by “creative” or “artistic” work.
The article was published at TripleC, Vol. 15, n. 2, and can also be found at http://www.triple-c.at/index.php/tripleC/article/view/885 (acessed in nov. 19, 2017)
The second chapiter (pgs 26-42) of TREMBLAY, G. and BRUNELLE, A. M., “Gouvernance et service publique médiatique dans les societés da la connaissance: actes du colloque”, Montréal: CRISIS/UQAM, 2016