Revisiting Marx’s value theory: a critical response to analyses of digital prosumption
In their assessment of value creation through prosumption and other activities related to the use of digital technologies, despite significant differences, Fuchs (2010) and Arvidsson and Colleoni (2012) misinterpret Marx’s value theory. Through their analyses, a totalizing or new form of capitalism is said to have emerged but these, I argue, entail demonstrably idealist theorizations. The end result is that these authors occlude more than they clarify in their debates concerning value, exploitation, and the role played by digital technologies. However, once we understand the precision needed to apply Marx’s complex theory – including his conceptualization of 'labor power' and the distinction he makes between 'productive' and 'unproductive' labor – it becomes apparent that a much more careful reading of Marx is a priority.
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