John Perry Barlow – Unhappy Birthday: The 15th Anniversary of the Neoliberal Ideology Manifesto “A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace”

John Perry Barlow – Unhappy Birthday: The 15th Year Anniversary of the Neoliberal Ideology Manifesto “A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace”

Barlow: “Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather. (…) You have not engaged in our great and gathering conversation, nor did you create the wealth of our marketplaces”.

Just like on the day when 15 years ago John Perry Barlow wrote “A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace”, also today the Declaration is an expression of neoliberalism and inidividualism. Barlow celebrates “marketplaces” and sees governments as the only dangers for the Internet.
Is the Internet today really dominated by governments? No, it is colonized by profit-seeking companies that exploit users, commodify their data, and engage in economic user surveillance for profit purposes. There is no single word about the problems of commercialization, commodification, exploitation, advertising culture, corporatism on the Internet in the Declaration.

The new world economic crisis of capitalism has shown that neoliberalism has failed and that it is time to recognize the problems created by corporations that try to commodify everything, including the Internet. Neoliberalism has suffered severe cracks, fissures and holes. The grey hair on the heads of the old ideologists of the 1990 Wired generation is today also symbolic of the outdatedness of their neoliberal worldview.
John Perry Barlow tweeted on February 8, 2011: “15 years ago today, I wrote A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace. It’s still true”. 15 years, but neoliberalism is still false consciousness and ideology… The Declaration is just like neoliberalism and just like the music of Grateful Dead soooo old school! Maybe Barlow should change the title of the Declaration to “Declaration of the Domination of Cyberspace by Neoliberalism”…

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