Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism is Turning the Internet Against Democracy

Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism is Turning the Internet Against Democracy

Hardback

By (author) Robert W. McChesney

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  • Publisher: The New Press
  • Format: Hardback | 304 pages
  • Dimensions: 163mm x 236mm x 30mm | 567g
  • Publication date: 3 May 2013
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 1595588671
  • ISBN 13: 9781595588678
  • Edition statement: New.
  • Sales rank: 155,678

Product description

Celebrants and skeptics alike have produced valuable analyses of the Internet’s effect on us and our world, oscillating between utopian bliss and dystopian hell. But according to Robert W. McChesney, arguments on both sides fail to address the relationship between economic power and the digital world.McChesney’s award-winning Rich Media, Poor Democracy skewered the assumption that a society drenched in commercial information is a democratic one. In Digital Disconnect, McChesney returns to this provocative thesis in light of the advances of the digital age. He argues that the sharp decline in the enforcement of antitrust violations, the increase in patents on digital technology and proprietary systems and massive indirect subsidies and other policies have made the internet a place of numbing commercialism. A handful of monopolies now dominate the political economy, from Google, which garners a 97 percent share of the mobile search market, to Microsoft, whose operating system is used by over 90 percent of the world’s computers. Capitalism’s colonization of the Internet has spurred the collapse of credible journalism and made the Internet an unparalleled apparatus for government and corporate surveillance and a disturbingly antidemocratic force.In Digital Disconnect, Robert McChesney offers a groundbreaking critique of the Internet, urging us to reclaim the democratizing potential of the digital revolution while we still can.

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Author information

Robert W. McChesney is the Gutgsell Endowed Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is the author of several books on the media, including the award-winning "Rich Media, Poor Democracy" and "Communication Revolution," and a co-editor (with Victor Pickard) of "Will the Last Reporter Please Turn Out the Lights." He lives in Champaign, Illinois.

Review quote

Advance Praise for "Digital Disconnect" "Once again, McChesney stands at the crossroads of media dysfunction and the denial of democracy, illuminating the complex issues involved and identifying a path forward to try to repair the damage. Here's hoping the rest of us have the good sense to listen this time." --Eric Alterman, professor of English and journalism, Brooklyn College, CUNY "McChesney penetrates to the heart of the issue: Change the System/Change the Internet. Both/And--not Either/Or. Indispensable reading as we lay groundwork for the coming great movement to reclaim America." --Gar Alperovitz, author of "What Then Must We Do? Straight Talk About the Next American Revolution," and professor of political economy, University of Maryland