The Information Nexus
Cambridge University Press, 6/30/2016
EAN 9781107519633, ISBN10: 1107519632
Paperback, 225 pages, 23.2 x 15.3 x 1.4 cm
Capitalism is central to our understanding of contemporary economic and political life and yet what does it really mean? If, as has now been shown to be the case, capital and property rights existed in pre-modern and pre-capitalist societies, what is left of our understanding of capitalism? Steven G. Marks' provocative new book calls into question everything we thought we knew about capitalism, from the word's very origins and development to the drivers of Western economic growth. Ranging from the Middle Ages to the present, The Information Nexus reveals that the truly distinctive feature of capitalism is business's drive to acquire and analyze information, supported by governments that allow unfettered access to public data. This new interpretation of capitalism helps to explain the rise of the West, puts our current information age into historical perspective, and provides a benchmark for the comparative assessment of economic systems in today's globalized environment.
Part I. 'Capitalism', Word and Concept
1. Cries of pain
the word 'capitalism'
2. 'Capitalism' in the mirror of the twentieth century
3. The myths of capitalism
Part II. The Information Nexus
4. Early modern Europe's expanding field of vision
the origins of capitalism
5. Age of electricity and engines
America's mass market
6. The digital age and the globalization of capitalism