“That’s Not Sharing, It’s Selling.”
— Susie ヽ(⊙⊙)ノ Cagle (@susie_c) May 27, 2014
Enlighten your capitalism today with the always-incisive Susie Cagle’s illustrated report back from the “Share” conference. It’s so good.
For all its troubling externalities, the sharing economy is largely heralded as a “return to the village,” an ahistoric utopia where we were friends with all of our trusted neighbors, lived in harmony with nature, and wanted not to consume, but to share. (Nevermind that this is not new at all — sharing and homesteading are things poor people have been doing forever out of necessity.)
But our society is not returning to a past utopia of collective social confidence and equality because this utopia never existed. The sharing economy doesn’t build trust — it trades on cultural homogeneity and established social networks both online and in real life. Where it builds new connections, it often replicates old patterns of privileged access for some, and denial for others.