A new form of capitalism: Freeware in the network as a manifestation of information exploitation

Hisyam Ikhtiar Mulia, Fristian Hadinata

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This research aims to illustrate the contemporary political economy situation. The reality of the contemporary political economy is considered to have been through a massive change. In the current information technology era, production has entered a new paradigm, with, of course, a new central variable which is information. With a touch of globalization where the interstate territorial political boundaries are considered merged, the information movement will be very fast. In this era, it is clear that information is no longer secondary or tertiary need, but necessarily the primary. The exposure of information that touches all social levels of society has an impact on economic activity these days. This information variable becomes central to production. This research takes the case of freeware, a technology rooted in the creation of computers and internet in the 20th century, to justify that the reality of contemporary political economy moves as illustrated by Antonio Negri dan Michael Hardt. This is related to the existence of postmodern capitalism in the form of Empire, the occurrence of biopolitical production as contemporary production patterns, the presence of immaterial labor, the exploitation of society as a whole on a global scale and also Multitude which is considered able to do resistance. The methods used in this research were the conceptual distinction, literature study and alternative explanations of the case. These methods allowed to show how the economic paradigm change occurred, what kind of change will it bring and what new things will happen to it. By doing conceptual distinction about the newer concept of economic informatization paradigm, then demonstrating the new form of production and the occurrence of information exploitation in order to produce an alternative explanation of the freeware phenomenon as a component in problematic economic reality. The existence of biopolitical, immaterial labor or biopower production can be justified by the presence of freeware. The fact that freeware modifies, accumulates and circulates the information shows how biopolitical production is formed. Moreover, freeware also involves immaterial labor as described by Negri and Hardt. However, it should be taken into account that freeware is not the same as the Empire itself. Ontologically, freeware is not a subject, but a medium to carry out its biopolitical production and exploitation. Therefore, freeware justifies the existence of postmodern capitalism, but it doesn’t correspond with capitalism itself.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPhilosophy and the Everyday Lives
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781536192193
Publication statusPublished - 9 Feb 2021


  • Economic paradigm
  • Freeware
  • Information exploitation
  • Multitude
  • Postmodern capitalism


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