What is Collective Activism?
Collective action refers to action taken together by a group of people whose goal is to enhance their condition and achieve a common objective.
Will existing forms of collective activism be sufficient to tame the operations of surveillance capitalism?
While we cannot say for sure, privacy is something that much of the United States does not take very lightly, so there is a reasonable chance that we, as a united body, could fight to lessen the operations of Big Data corporations.
So, how do they get away with it?
First, surveillance capitalists no longer rely on people as consumers. Instead, the axis of supply and demand orients better on populations, groups, and individuals. The result is that populations are conceptualized as undifferentiated “users,” who are merely the sources of raw material for a digital-age production process aimed at a new business customer. Where individual consumers continue to exist in surveillance capitalist operations—purchasing smart appliances, digital assistants, or others, social relations are no longer founded on mutual exchange.
This conflict produces a psychic numbing that inures users to the realities of being tracked, parsed, mined, and modified. It disposes users to rationalize the situation
in resigned cynicism, shelter behind defense mechanisms (“I have nothing to hide”), or find other ways to stick their heads in the sand.