Vol. 11 No. 21 (2021): Il paradigma dell'informale nel capitalismo contemporaneo
(Re)Reading the Classics

Rewriting Marx to expose the data society and AI

Stefano Diana
Independent researcher
Published November 30, 2021
  • digital data,
  • artificial intelligence,
  • information society,
  • automatic fetish,
  • personal knowledge
How to Cite
Diana, S. (2021). Rewriting Marx to expose the data society and AI. Cambio. Rivista Sulle Trasformazioni Sociali, 11(21), 199-211. https://doi.org/10.36253/cambio-10637


As I show with examples from the Grundrisse and the Capital, some fundamentals of Marx’s critique of political economy can be rewritten with simple substitutions to yield surprisingly pertinent analyses of today’s “information society” and the role that data and AI play in it. The reason behind this strange phenomenon is that Marx’s penetrating study of money as a dehumanizing abstraction and self-replicating capital can be extended with minor changes to the main abstraction and “automatic fetish” of our historical regime: digital data. As money-capital tends to grow by itself independently of humans, so does data. AI is the main engine of this new dangerous cycle. 


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