I am very curious about Astra Taylor’s new book, The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age, and after reading this interview with her on The Rumpus, I am ready to add it to my nightstand book pile:
On the one hand, I’m a kind of crazy anarchist-sympathizer with a hippie background, so this sounds pretty good to me. Make something for the love of it! But the reality is so much more complicated. One thing I point out is, a lot of people tooting the horn of amateurism, actually, these people were professionals. Some are professors who are employed full time. Others are marketers or business consultants. There’s something odd about telling people, artists, that they need to work for free to be pure while you’re sitting there getting a salary that ultimately is paid by a generation of young people going deeply into debt for their education.
I think somebody who is more self-reflective should ask why they personally aren’t going on that path. If amateurism is so great, why didn’t you stay one?
…Now it almost seems like the techno-utopian scenario is, “Well, the economy is going to hell but you can participate on this platform that ultimately is this enormous profit generator for a few people.”