Class Warfare in the Information Age

Overview

The mention of class struggle evokes images of a grimy age in which bygone captains of industry callously oppressed armies of overworked and underpaid proletarians. This dark portrait of class conflict stands in sharp contrast to the glorious promise of an information age. In Class Warfare in the Information Age, Michael Perelman shows how class conflict remains a contemporary issue. He challenges the notion that, with the help of modern computer and telecommunication technologies, we can look forward to life in ...
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Overview

The mention of class struggle evokes images of a grimy age in which bygone captains of industry callously oppressed armies of overworked and underpaid proletarians. This dark portrait of class conflict stands in sharp contrast to the glorious promise of an information age. In Class Warfare in the Information Age, Michael Perelman shows how class conflict remains a contemporary issue. He challenges the notion that, with the help of modern computer and telecommunication technologies, we can look forward to life in a well-educated society in which anybody with even a modicum of intelligence and discipline can enjoy a more than comfortable existence. In a relatively jargon-free economic and political analysis, Perelman reveals how the efforts of business to profit from the sale of information will result in the reduction of access to information, rather than the increase. He demonstrates how the treatment of information as a commodity will cause it to be more regulated and less accessible. In the future, Perelman argues, it will still become a class-based privilege to access and afford information, and the rights of individuals will disintegrate as the power of the corporate sector grows. Class Warfare in the Information Age is a refreshingly critical work that forces readers to rethink the conventional hype surrounding the information superhighway.
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Editorial Reviews

Choice
Perelman's wry sense of humor...makes this excellent book surprisingly readable and one that deserves to be widely read.
Booknews
Perelman (economics, California State U.-Chico) challenges the glossy image of computers and telecommunications making life glorious for anyone with a minimum of intelligence and discipline. He says that privatizing information and putting it on sale for corporate profit will reduce everyone's access to it, that access will become a class- based privilege, and that the rights of individuals will disintegrate as the power of corporations grows. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Booknews
Perelman (economics, California State U.-Chico) challenges the glossy image of computers and telecommunications making life glorious for anyone with a minimum of intelligence and discipline. He says that privatizing information and putting it on sale for corporate profit will reduce everyone's access to it, that access will become a class- based privilege, and that the rights of individuals will disintegrate as the power of corporations grows. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
From the Publisher
“Perelman's wry sense of humor . . . makes this excellent book surprisingly readable and one that deserves to be widely read.” —Choice

“Contends that, for the most part, the information technologies are not being applied to improve the quality of life; rather, they are being used to perfect command and control processes, often at the expense of the well-being of workers.” —Jourbanal of Economic Literature

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312177584
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/1998
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 5.95 (w) x 8.58 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Perelman is Professor of Economics at California State University, Chico. His most recent books are The End of Economics; The Pathology of the US Economy: The Costs of a Low-Wage System; and The Natural Instability of Markets.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 A Skeptical Reading of the Information Revolution 7
2 Classes and the Information Revolution 23
3 Information and Control of the Labor Process 37
4 The Contradiction of Exploited Informational Labor 61
5 Panopticism 69
6 Information as a Commodity and Other Economic Metaphors 85
7 Markets and Informational Efficiency 105
8 Conclusion: Toward a Real Information Age 131
Bibliography 135
Index 151
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