I have been thinking that we have a short sighted view of relationship between privacy and labour at the individual scale and social scale.
We must start redefining and re-educating ourself on : Labour Theory based redefining of Privacy - which is highly needed in information and network age.
If Privacy fundamentally mean that a individual in a collective society has the right to have control on their own function, bodily integrity, decision making, autonomy, etc… Then why not Labourers have no control over deciding how to control their economic sustenance ?
Now depending on the geo-cultural situations of global society, the differences in how opression works varies widely. But all have one thing in common, a hierarchichal chain of relationships based on some kind of oppression. Mostly on the following stratifications :
Every stratification system tries to oppress people recursively. Which simply means the society organizes oppression not just through simple hierarchy. Although that helps one understand from a freezed temporal view, a static view. However we know that history and dialectical relationships between seemingly unrelated factors creates complex dynamics that requires a more critical approach.
For instance, this recursion is what we see in Indian Society called as : Brahminization of culture. Do not confuse the term or just spiral up with hate speeches around a certain casted community. Remember no individual has control over the choice of Caste. It is decided by Birth like a virtue. For further exploration please explore Ambedkar, Chattopadhyaya, & Periyars works.
Coming back to the point, this brahminization is a cultural program, which dictates that “there must always be set of castes that must be oppressed by the higher casts”. And this this simple rule keeps repeating at every scale and level of the hierarchy, just resembling a Fractal World. Thus for any individual born into such stratification order, will mostly have some caste caste under their feet and some caste over their heads. And the relationship ship is subjugative and submissive respectively.
What we see in common is not just hierarchy, not just fractalization, but also a division of society that fundamentally have instrumentalized the division through restriction, alienation of knowledge from the oppressed, so that the oppression can continue for eternity. The oppressed become the oppressed in first place because of the denial of knowledge - as a main contributing factor.
Once the division is put into place based on the existing form of organized unjust ruling and law, culture, and economy takes care of the rest of transitioning the same state of stratification through time : decades, centuries, etc… until the oppressed becomes sensitized, angry, conscious, and organize couragely together to question the oppressor and eventually overthrow the way society is organized.
Historically it is always a socially challenging phenomenon for humans to find a common factor that cross cuts the caste, race, religion, gender divisions. This is how induced ignorance works. The culture is so powerful that it can program most of the individuals to think unification is impossible because of the difference and oppression experienced by the nearest fractal peer.
Thus it is clear that a society stratified in a particular way, has historical contingency that must be taken into account to understand how the contemporary works. Else it is just a half baked interpretation that does not have any fruitful learning.
So Why Social Stratification ?
- Frame & Deploy the Rules in favour of Opression
- Appropriate the Fruits of Labour from the Oppressed
- Own the instruments of knowledge to continue the Injustice
- Creating oppressed layers of subjugation, will probably keep the people chase towards social-economic mobility
- Own the instruments of production to create a treadmill for extracting Surplus Labour.
But on the other hand, we have converged on one strong factor. LABOUR. Everybody works for somebody. And the strange thing of any market based economy is that, we need consumption to produce. But to produce the oppressors need the Labour working for them. So through any of the stratification strategy the labour power will be extracted, and the result product is sold in market which must be purchased in some other market, which can have different theme or different location or different cultural values, etc…
Thus Labour based unification demands one more view. Thus we have :
- Historical View
- Knowledge View
- Labour View
All these views are deeply interconnected and interpenetrates each one to manifest the reality around us. Comprehending the reality thus requires us to understand them holistically.
This helped us understand undeniably the oppressor needs the oppressed and thus mass consciousness is the threshold beyond which the oppressors ready to negotiate and agree to make any changes as long as it wont affect their position to rule.
Imagine, what will happen if Algorithms dictated by Ruling & Managerial class decide the remaining individuals life in a already stratified society that denies equal distribution of knowledge. Imagine, what will be happen to you in a Caste ridden system be ruled with the new algorithmic power that is made for meeting the goals of Profit, & Power. It readily creates a nexus between the Communal/Fascist regimes and Capitalist Ruling class & Managerial class. Because Capitalism leverages on existing Culturally programmed inequalities, so that a neat flow of capital and labour can be orchestrated in favour of extracting surplus, while for example the caste system of division of labourers can easily take care of maintaining the constructed inequalities.
We know the Media is a instrument of Control that yields to the powerful, and the above nexus easily controls media to control the masses to create manufactured consent, decisions, likes, dislikes, reinforce ignorance, fake sense of satisfaction through short term gratification, mass consumption attitude, etc…
This demands that the common Unification factor = Labour, needs to be connected with values of individual autonomy, which can be collectivized again to represent a blow against the oppression. If the unionized mass demands labour rights and privacy rights from social point of view, then in a way it is a blow.
Getting back to the original point : What we mean about economic liberty is not much legally and culturally connected to social definition of Privacy. What is considered as fundamental violation in social sense, is taken for granted or hyper normalized in economic sense. One is usually not comfortable with Mass Surveillance, but relatively more comfortable with Unique Numbering to get their deserved Food in their Stomach.
This Bifurcated view must be subjected to discussion and debates by civil societies, pro people movements, pro social Sci/Tech Communities, Coops, Union, and their network of federations. Only a watchful whistleblowing, and Surveillance of ruling class, state, bureacracy, oppressors, & exercising power over it will keep them in order as a regulator to suppress the anti-social agents and patterns.
Can the role of state as a regulator, governor be replaced ? In a way it is inevitable. When we have a state aligned with different political agenda that is not favourable for people progression, it results basically in a tug of war.
Algorithm based Platform Services tumoring over the commons resources in Internet & Web, which are essentially marketed as Connectivity Services with anti-scientific production practices imposed on their labourers, while disconnecting, isolating, hyper individualizing each person through anti-social practices that are now hidden in those proprietary technology packages.
Legal fence around these technologies are not going to reveal their anti-social practices, leaving us no other way of creating a completely transparent alternatives riding on self organizing labour owned coops, decentralized & federated as a strategy against monopoly - through creating commons and diversifying and populating commons way of self organizing.
So while introducing privacy we must introduce privacy with labour integrity just like bodily integrity. In a sense labour power can be directly connected with bodily integrity. Then we might start to see some recognition of idea of self respect and further with critical philosophy.
Within 24h, we have 8hrs recognized as organized labour contribution. with legal bindings, with agreed economic returns at individual scale. In that 8 hrs most probably we become generators of algorithmic services that are targeted to consume data and information in more than needed quantity and quality. In the remaining 16 hrs sustantial amount of time is alloted for consuming these algorithmic services which in turn is used to generate data for the service. This is unroganized labour without any material returns. This turns us into data generators.
So an individualized person is further reinforced to be more indivualized to split the personality into a person under workplace surveillance to be generators of logics required to compose a algorithm based service and also to be data generators for those algorithms back. This interpretation is not new.
But the same relation is taken to a new level of recursion, as mentioned before, in a social fractal world as :
- consume the service (else you will feel left alone)
- produce data for the service (it is the result of collective labour)
- produce codes embedded logics, mathematical models, rules, composed into algorithms, only to target other persons to consume it back
This is not just a treadmill or a simple vicious cycle, but a fractalized vicious cycle.