Cyberwhores of late capitalism (2019) Tamara MacLeod. I begun to read the article as a book review but it soon turned into an insightful analysis of how corporate control over the internet impacts the possibilities marginalised groups have in organizing and surviving. MacLeod identifies that the power capitalism has over us, is ultimately the power to control how, where and when our tangible and virtual bodies move. Internet offered folk who have been confined into cities (to idle indefinitely, waiting for deployment as a labor force) the “right to roam” and seek out new economic possibilities.
Sex work is a good place to start in any discussion about economic oppression, because it has intersecting demographical qualities. People of all classes, ethnicities, and genders enter sex work as a means to acquire wealth that they are otherwise excluded from.
In countries which criminalise sex work, the internet has been revolutionary for sex workers in two fundamental ways: It has allowed us to establish commerce in a space free of persecution and with easy accessibility (it is easier for a poor person to make money with an internet connection than without one); and it has supported the development of international communities, providing solidarity, safety and access to resources.
Any discussion about labour is a discussion about space: where is it done, and what does the nature of the space mean for the worker? The enclosures under feudalism, the entrapment of women in workhouses and the home; these were deliberate responses to disruptions of class oppression. To liberate the worker from the boundaries of embodiment, time and space – this stood to be the most promising disruption in human history, and therefore meant that cyberspace had to be colonised by the same ideas that make systemic change so difficult in our immediate environments.