barbrook

The Californian Ideology derives its popularity from the very ambiguity of its precepts…The Californian Ideology offers a way of understanding the lived reality of these digital artisans. On the one hand, these core workers are a privileged part of the labour force. On the other hand, they are the heirs of the radical ideas of the community media activists. The Californian Ideology, therefore, simultaneously reflects the disciplines of market economics and the freedoms of hippie artisanship. This bizarre hybrid is only made possible through a nearly universal belief in technological determinism.
—  Richard Barbrook and Andy Cameron, ‘The Californian Ideology’ 
THE CALIFORNIAN IDEOLOGY

Richard Barbrook and Andy Cameron

When the ability to produce and receive unlimited amounts of information in any form is combined with the reach of the global telephone networks, existing forms of work and leisure can be fundamentally transformed. New industries will be born and current stock market favourites will swept away. At such moments of profound social change, anyone who can offer a simple explanation of what is happening will be listened to with great interest.
                                                   …
In the digital utopia, everybody will be both hip and rich. Not surprisingly, this optimistic vision of the future has been enthusiastically embraced by computer nerds, slacker students, innovative capitalists, social activists, trendy academics, futurist bureaucrats and opportunistic politicians across the USA.
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The widespread appeal of these West Coast ideologues isn’t simply the result of their infectious optimism. Above all, they are passionate advocates of what appears to be an impeccably libertarian form of politics - they want information technologies to be used to create a new ‘Jeffersonian democracy’ where all individuals will be able to express themselves freely within cyberspace.2 However, by championing this seemingly admirable ideal, these techno-boosters are at the same time reproducing some of the most atavistic features of American society, especially those derived from the bitter legacy of slavery. Their utopian vision of California depends upon a wilful blindness towards the other - much less positive - features of life on the West Coast: racism, poverty and environmental degradation.3 Ironically, in the not too distant past, the intellectuals and artists of the Bay Area were passionately concerned about these issues.

http://www.comune.torino.it/gioart/big/bigguest/riflessioni/californian_engl.pdf