Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Social Networking and Capitalism (Are Historical or Authentic Capitalism AND Social Networks Related?)

You would be correct if you were to say about Linked-In that it is, or must be, intended for social interaction. That is so. But we need to ask a little more about this. What kind? To give a preliminary answer, Linked-In is designed, quite intentionally, leaves out any social interactions that do not involve money.
     Having said that, we need to discriminate between social interactions. Let's discuss two kinds. There are more, but we need to identify social interactions in a preliminary way first. And first, there are the social interactions connected with money outcomes, or the interactions measured by money. Second, social interactions of another kind: these are social interactions that do not have this type of linkage. These are two preliminary kinds of social interaction. If we say that even  the latter are part of capitalism, then even this un-money-linked kind of relation is, really, another part of capitalism, the non-market part of capitalism. It can be linked with capitalism even if it does not have this money interest, which is to say not directly.
Another way to put across the same idea is that capitalism does NOT have such a separation, or that the money-related and non money-related "really" are the same thing. This is very tricky; maybe you get the idea. Capitalism is about (not individualism and private properties but) social interaction but not always. It's very tricky! What is important is to understand that, when looking at the period of history characterized as capitalistic we may understand that capitalism does not operate as a system that is sequestered to only the money or trading kind of person. Capitalism exists in an entire society, a society featuring certain characteristically "capitalist" processes. ("Socialists" are capitalists.) If it is social, then capitalism comprises the persons in the society. Other kinds of persons are involved, but (rather than classes) these two kinds of socializing are mixed up together, so it is one system.
     Therefore, I hope it is clear that the 'social' network LinkedIn does NOT reproduce the social network of capitalism at all, or not of the kind of capitalism that actually developed historically.  The social networks or social foundations were fully integrated with human society as it was then----not put up on a "social network," which is by comparison an artificiality. Thus, the social network of Linked-In is not the social network of (historical) capitalism.

Linked-In is not capitalism.