Many speak people are now speaking of “Digital Feudalism”, a topic that, for some experts, could be the end of liberal principles, the global drive for domination, vigilance, and absence of personal independence.
Why call it feudalism?
Let us remember that, during the Middle Ages, feudalism was a system of government with economic, social, and political components based on a series of ties and obligations. Specialists now warn that, after the world situation arising from the COVID-19 Pandemic, we are being more dominated than ever, by a global surveillance system, with these same characteristics.
Today there are stronger digital tools, such as Big Data. Personal data is becoming the most valuable commodity in the world. In China, the State knows in real time, using digital tools, where you are, with whom you are, what you do, and even what are you thinking about. According to Byung-Chul Han, a philosopher of South Korean origin and teacher in Berlin, this would be the end of modern liberalism?
All this would be something like a type of global technocracy under (pseudo)promises of liberation that serves to feed the established powers. The idea is that anywhere you are in the world you must forcefully become part of this single community with a common identity striving towards a passive collective, like the “Happy World” described in a visionary way by Aldous Huxley back in 1932.
If those who govern know more about us than we do, how easy will it be for them to manipulate us?
Professor of Communication, Fred Turner says the following: “The political vision that created social networks, mistrusts public property and political processes while celebrating digital engineering as an alternative form of government. In his opinion, digital networks have converted the dream of individuality and expressive democracy, into a source of manipulative Utopian wealth.”
Did you know that digital platforms extract great wealth from their user’s data?
According to FutureMajority.org, in 2019, the economic benefit that companies derive from online data, only in the United States totaled $ 80 billion. Social networks like Facebook, platforms like Amazon and digital companies like Google are becoming more and more successful because the personal data of users has become the most valuable product in the world.
The new technological tools can be seen as a great threat, which gradually gain more control over us, mainly those that are used within marketing and products sales in general. In many cases, digital platforms know our preferences better than we do.
Is it OK to live in a society where even our most intimate wishes are known?
Previously, we mentioned the famous “Big Data”, where algorithms of technology companies, already know what we are going to want and sell our preferences in the future. For some experts, all this talk of Digital Feudalism is nothing more than an optimized extractive economy, based on the almost infinite availability of raw material (our personal data) that enriches a few companies.
Our Data as Our Property
Perhaps a -solution- would be the legal implementation of the right to the ownership of our Personal Data. That users take their Data into account as personal property, like their houses or cars. Well, then we must demand these right to our privacy, our independence in every space for personal decision-making.