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June 10, 2014

Ideology and entrepreneurship in desktop manufacturing


Industry knows, that in order for an enterprise to stay competitive in a capitalist economy, you do not only have to be able to manufacture in bulk, but manufacture just in time as well. This is one of the main reasons why among the many competing technologies the past 30 years, 3D printing is a front-runner. The development of the technology, despite the ideologues of “marginal cost society” and personal manufacturing (“owning the means of production” as they say), it is a method that can foster new developments in the rejuvenation of the capitalist system, with more resilient organizations at first, until fully developed into monopolies. Capitalism needs the margins, it feeds on its ideas in trying to constantly keep up with innovation that is cursed to do in order to stay afloat. As a chief executive in a software corporation said recently “let us not miss a single idea produced in a garage”. That being said, the general pattern of the industry resembles an office that seeks to re-organize, to find the most efficient ways to keep up with ideas and deliver. Keeping the “garage environment” that brought among other things the personal computer whilst at the same time remaining corporate (more resources) is task number one. The ideology behind the “entrepreneurial self” being promoted is nothing new, as neoliberal economics sometimes interchange discourses between democracy and anarchy as concepts that can only be implemented and fully captured as “the market of ideas”, networked and anarchic in nature ie. according to what entrepreneurs want. The short video by the economist captures this ideology, a magma of ideas and concepts that the geek engineering culture shares and blend with neoliberal capitalist concepts of anarchy in the marketplace.

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