The Oil of the 21st Century - The Poverty of the Small Author
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In the age of digital reproduction, the problem of the “small author” remains: as the problem of the Intellectual Proprietor and his or her material reproduction, but also, and more importantly, as a problem of a specific political mentality. Among the many possible modes of production and subjectivation, the figure of the “small author” - who is always already deprived from the fruits of his hard labor, either by “the industry” or by “the pirates” - may be the most unfortunate one. But for the masses who know that they will never be part of a thriving global middle class of Intellectual Proprietors, there are other options. Not to entrench themselves against technological progress, but to radically embrace it: to explore new forms of collaboration and production beyond traditional authorship, to employ the most advanced methods of digital reproduction, and to reaffirm the instability of property relations.