The Pirates Dilemma
How Youth Culture is Reinventing Capitalism
Or put another way: much of the worlds innovation was created by Pirates.
You can download a copy of it here.
Did you know Jankes was the word for pirates back in the 18th and 19th century? Its where the work Yanks came from because Americans were considered the most piratical bootlegging nation on earth. They stole, copied and ignored copyrights and patents. They looked alot like China of the 1990s, and Japan of the 1970s.
Did you know Hollywood is a bunch of pirates? Yep. Edison invented filmmaking and demanded a licensing fee from anyone making movies with his tech. What happened? A band of filmmaking pirates, including one named William, left New York for the then still wild west where they thrived, unlicensed, until Edison's patents expired. Williams last name? Fox.
CableTV: Same beginnings. In 1948 when Cable TV started, cable companies refused to pay the networks for broadcasting their content. For over 30 years operated like a primiative illegal file sharing network.
Excellent short video on the subject here:
It's worth all 4:59 seconds of time it takes to watch.
He also talks about the history of how punk music created the DIY (do it yourself) culture. Something we, today, call UGC (User Generated Content).
The basic ideas of this Punk Capitalism are simple and come directly from the philosophy of punk rock (From the book):
Do it yourself.It's written by Matt Mason, an ex-Pirate DJ and journalist. It's well researched and offers great real world examples.
Punk refused to take cues from the mass market, and created a vibrant cultural movement as a result. Now a critical mass of punk capitalists is removing the associative barriers that held them back. They are working for themselves, setting up businesses, and finding ways to produce as much as they conume, laying the foundations for a wealth of new markets and business models. D.I.Y. is changing our labor markets, and creativity is becoming our most valuable currency.
Punk resisted authority and saw anarcy as the path to a brighter future. Punk capitlists are resisting authority, too--by leveraging new D.I.I. technologies and the power of individuals connecting and working togethrs as equals. This twin engine of the new economy is creating new ways all of us can live and work, leaving old systems for dust. Technology plus Democracy = Punk Captialism.
Combine Altruism and Self-Interest
Punk had high ideas--it looked aggressive and scary, but through its angry critique of society and subversion of it, it sought to change the world for the better. Punk capitalists are using the same techniques, subverting a world full of empty corporate gestures, manufacturing businesses and producst with meanings that attempt to inject substance bank into style. Punk injected altruism into entrepreneurship, a motivator of people long overlooked by neoclassical economics. Not only that, punk made the idea of putting purpose before profit seem cool to an entire generation. It menufactured new meaning in an area where it was really needed.
Here's a overview of the book: