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The zero marginal cost society—or how capitalism will eat itself

By Jonathan Derbyshire  

There’s more than a fleeting echo, in the cadences of the opening paragraph of Jeremy Rifkin’s new book, “The Zero Marginal Cost Society”, of Marx and Engels’s “Communist Manifesto”. But in this case the spectre haunting not just Europe but the whole of the developed world isn’t communism, it’s a “new economic paradigm” that Rifkin calls the “Collaborative Commons”. The cynosure of this new paradigm won’t be the exchange of private property in markets; it will be the “access of services in the Collaborative Commons.” Rifkin writes: “The capitalist…

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