The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism

Category: Book
By (author): Rifkin, Jeremy
Subject:  BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economics / Theory
  BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / General
  POLITICAL SCIENCE / Globalization
Audience: general/trade
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Published: July 2015
Format: Book-paperback
Pages: 448
Size: 9.16in x 6.09in x 1.17in
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Additional Notes

From The Publisher*The capitalist era is passing. Rising in its wake is a new global collaborative Commons that will fundamentally transform our way of life. Bestselling author Jeremy Rifkin explains that intense competition is forcing the introduction of ever newer technologies, in turn boosting productivity to the point where the marginal cost of producing additional units is nearly zero, making the product essentially free. In turn, profits are drying up, property ownership is becoming meaningless, and an economy based on scarcity is giving way to an economy of abundance. Rifkin describes how hundreds of millions of people are already transferring parts of their economic lives from capitalist markets to networked Commons. "Prosumers" are producing their own information, entertainment, energy, and 3-D printed products at nearly zero marginal cost, and sharing them via social media sites and other venues. Students are enrolling in massive open online courses (MOOCs) that also operate at near-zero marginal cost. As a result, "exchange value" in the marketplace is increasingly being replaced by "use value" on the collaborative Commons. Identity is less bound to what one owns and more to what one shares. Cooperation replaces self-interest, access trumps ownership, and networking drubs autonomy. We are, Rifkin says, entering a world beyond markets where we are learning how to live together collaboratively and sustainably.
Review Quote*Admirable in its scope… what makes The Zero Marginal Cost Society worth reading is its audacity, its willingness to weave a vast string of developments into a heartening narrative of what our economic future may hold for the generations to come.- Fortune "A thought-provoking read that pushes some of the most important new technologies to their logical–and sometimes scary–conclusions…If Rifkin's predictions have value… it is in bringing home the extent of the technologically induced upheaval that may lie ahead. How we deal with the consequences is up to us. A grand unifying theory of [Rifkin's] thinking over four decades."- Financial Times
Biographical NoteJeremy Rifkin, one of the most popular social thinkers of our time, is the bestselling author of 19 books including The Third Industrial Revolution, The Empathic Civilization, The European Dream, The Age of Access, The Hydrogen Economy, The Biotech Century, and The End of Work. His books have been translated into more than 35 languages. Rifkin is an advisor to the European Union and heads of state around the world. He is a senior lecturer at the Wharton School's Executive Education Program at the University of Pennsylvania and the president of the Foundation on Economic Trends in Washington, DC.