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Despite a few people who have attained a measure of celebrity and modest wealth, the vast majority of people making money from youtube or patreon or whatever are doing it as a side hustle to supplement other sources of income. Whatever we might say about the effectiveness of a youtube boycott, it is a form of precarious work that is not theorized in classical marxist texts, and is certainly not equivalent to the old category of the artisan.

Because it is a byproduct of capitalism forcing increasing amounts of risk onto individualised workers and in the process atomising the working class as a body, I'm more inclined to see it in continuity with other forms of "hustle work", like hawking wares on street corners, and gig work like rideshare driving.

As the structure and expression of political economy changes, our analysis has to adapt as well.

For any potential pedants: "continuity" is not the same as "equivalence"

@turtlebirb esp. since I've yet to see a serious marxist analysis of these platforms that takes into account the entirely new economies they represent, such as what products are even being sold (videos? ads? attention? culture? ideology?)

@warp tbh I don't think we have to do too much modification to marx to understand that, since he is clear from the outset that anything that fulfils a human need or desire, whether material or immaterial, can be a commodity.

I know there has definitely been a lot of work in the past couple decades on digital reproduction, which is definitely new and significant, but I'm not personally familiar with the literature so I can't point you anywhere specific.

@turtlebirb I agree that it's a form of commodity, but we should be careful about how it works. I think the more we understand the specifics of things like youtube, "attention economies" and the like, the more we can apply them to capital.

I don't have many sources either. One person who comes to mind is Hito Steyerl, who I definitely recommend.

thanks and also mild subtoot 

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