Capitalism, equality and questions about the sharing economy

In the opinion of OuiShare connector Arthur De Grave, the "sharing economy" is not really about sharing, altruism, or a moral revolution. Rather, it's one element of the "collaborative economy (which includes the distributed production, peer-to-peer finance, and open source movements), and it raises a number of interesting questions.

De Grave seems primarily concerned with the question of whether the sharing economy is part of the next evolution of capitalism.  Within that framework, he also explores two areas of emerging discontent with the sharing economy:

  • Is the sharing economy addressing inequality in ownership structures? And,
  • Will it destroy jobs (and the privileges and programs workers have fought hard to win over the decades)?

In a wide ranging essay that makes references figures from Thomas Hobbes to Eric Schmidt, De Grave covers a great deal of ground. While ultimately stopping short of making a prediction or conclusion, the piece does create a potential framework for a more thorough exploration of these important questions.

Image source: Forbes

-- Jia Yan Toh


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