The aff’s merely accommodates the expansion of neoliberalism—instead debates should resolve why we allow ourselves to be tracked instead of can the internet be free
Morozov 2013 (Evgeny; The Snowden saga heralds a radical shift in capitalism; Dec 26; www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/d2af6426-696d-11e3-aba3-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3gMjZTjV8; kdf)
Technical infrastructure and geopolitical power; rampant consumerism and ubiquitous surveillance; the lofty rhetoric of “internet freedom” and the sober reality of the ever-increasing internet control – all these are interconnected in ways most of us would rather not acknowledge or think about. Instead, we have focused on just one element in this long chain – state spying – but have mostly ignored all others. But the spying debate has quickly turned narrow and unbearably technical; issues such as the soundness of US foreign policy, the ambivalent future of digital capitalism, the relocation of power from Washington and Brussels to Silicon Valley have not received due attention. But it is not just the NSA that is broken: the way we do – and pay for – our communicating today is broken as well. And it is broken for political and economic reasons, not just legal and technological ones: too many governments, strapped for cash and low on infrastructural imagination, have surrendered their communications networks to technology companies a tad too soon. Mr Snowden created an opening for a much-needed global debate that could have highlighted many of these issues. Alas, it has never arrived. The revelations of the US’s surveillance addiction were met with a rather lacklustre, one-dimensional response. Much of this overheated rhetoric – tinged with anti-Americanism and channelled into unproductive forms of reform – has been useless. Many foreign leaders still cling to the fantasy that, if only the US would promise them a no-spy agreement, or at least stop monitoring their gadgets, the perversions revealed by Mr Snowden would disappear. Here the politicians are making the same mistake as Mr Snowden himself, who, in his rare but thoughtful public remarks, attributes those misdeeds to the over-reach of the intelligence agencies. Ironically, even he might not be fully aware of what he has uncovered. These are not isolated instances of power abuse that can be corrected by updating laws, introducing tighter checks on spying, building more privacy tools, or making state demands to tech companies more transparent. Of course, all those things must be done: they are the low-hanging policy fruit that we know how to reach and harvest. At the very least, such measures can create the impression that something is being done.But what good are these steps to counter the much more disturbing trend whereby our personal information – rather than money – becomes the chief way in which we pay for services – and soon, perhaps, everyday objects – that we use? No laws and tools will protect citizens who, inspired by the empowerment fairy tales of Silicon Valley, are rushing to become data entrepreneurs, always on the lookout for new, quicker, more profitable ways to monetise their own data – be it information about their shopping or copies of their genome. These citizens want tools for disclosing their data, not guarding it.Now that every piece of data, no matter how trivial, is also an asset in disguise, they just need to find the right buyer. Or the buyer might find them, offering to create a convenient service paid for by their data – which seems to be Google’s model with Gmail, its email service. What eludes Mr Snowden – along with most of his detractors and supporters – is that we might be living through a transformation in how capitalism works, with personal data emerging as an alternative payment regime. The benefits to consumers are already obvious; the potential costs to citizens are not. As markets in personal information proliferate, so do the externalities – with democracy the main victim. This ongoing transition from money to data is unlikely to weaken the clout of the NSA; on the contrary, it might create more and stronger intermediaries that can indulge its data obsession. So to remain relevant and have some political teeth, the surveillance debate must be linked to debates about capitalism – or risk obscurity in the highly legalistic ghetto of the privacy debate. Other overlooked dimensions are as crucial. Should we not be more critical of the rationale, advanced by the NSA and other agencies, that they need this data to engage in pre-emptive problem-solving? We should not allow the falling costs of pre-emption to crowd out more systemic attempts to pinpoint the origins of the problems that we are trying to solve. Just because US intelligence agencies hope to one day rank all Yemeni kids based on their propensity to blow up aircraft does not obviate the need to address the sources of their discontent – one of which might be the excessive use of drones to target their fathers. Unfortunately, these issues are not on today’s agenda, in part because many of us have bought into the simplistic narrative – convenient to both Washington and Silicon Valley – that we just need more laws, more tools, more transparency. What Mr Snowden has revealed is the new tension at the very foundations of modern-day capitalism and democratic life. A bit more imagination is needed to resolve it.
Neoliberalism guarantees the dystopian impacts of the 1ac and worse—only a refusal solves
Harvey 2014 (David [Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Geography at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York]; Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism; Oxford University Press; p. 264-7; kdf)
It is not entirely beyond the realms of possibility that capital could survive all the contradictions hitherto examined at a certain cost. It could do so, for example, by a capitalist oligarchic elite supervising the mass genocidal elimination of much of the world's surplus and disposable population while enslaving the rest and building vast artificial gated environments to protect against the ravages of an external nature run toxic, barren and ruinously wild. Dystopian tales abound depicting a grand variety of such worlds and it would be wrong to rule them out as impossible blueprints for the future of a less-than-human humanity. Indeed, there is something frighteningly close about some dystopian tales, such as the social order depicted in the teenage hit trilogy The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins or the futuristic anti-humanist sequences of David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas. Clearly, any such social order could only exist on the basis of fascistic mind control and the continuous exercise of daily police surveillance and violence accompanied by periodic militarised repressions. Anyone who does not see elements of such a dystopian world already in place around us is deceiving herself or himself most cruelly. The issue is not, therefore, that capital cannot survive its contradictions but that the cost of it so doing becomes unacceptable to the mass of the population. The hope is that long before dystopian trends turn from a trickle of drone strikes here and occasional uses of poison gas against their own people by crazed rulers there, of murderous and incoherent policies towards all forms of opposition in one place to environmental collapses and mass starvation elsewhere, into a veritable flood of catastrophic unequally armed struggles everywhere that pit the rich against the poor and the privileged capitalists and their craven acolytes against the rest ... the hope is that social and political movements will arise and shout, 'fa! Basta!' or 'Enough is enough', and change the way we live and love, survive and reproduce. That this means replacing the economic engine and its associated irrational economic rationalities should by now be obvious. But how this should be done is by no means clear and what kind of economic engine can replace that of capital is an even murkier proposition given the current state of thought and the lamentable paucity of imaginative public debate devoted to the question. In the analysis of this, an understanding of capital's contradictions is more than a little helpful, for, as the German playwright Bertolt Brecht once put it, 'hope is latent in contradictions'. In excavating this zone of latent hope, there are some basic propositions that must first be accepted. In The Enigma of Capital, I concluded: 'Capitalism will never fall on its own. It will have to be pushed. The accumulation of capital will never cease. It will have to be stopped. The capitalist class will never willingly surrender its power. It will have to be dispossessed:1 I still hold to this view and think it vital that others do too. It will obviously need a strong political movement and a lot of individual commitment to undertake such a task. Such a movement cannot function without a broad and compelling vision of an alternative around which a collective political subjectivity can coalesce. What sort of vision can animate such a political movement? We can seek to change the world gradually and piecemeal by favouring one side of a contradiction (such as use value) rather than the other (such as exchange value) or by working to undermine and eventually dissolve particular contradictions (such as that which allows the use of money for the private appropriation of social wealth). We can seek to change the trajectories defined by the moving contradictions (towards non-militaristic technologies and towards greater equality in a world of democratic freedoms). Understanding capital's contradictions helps, as I have tried to indicate throughout this book, in developing a long-term vision of the overall direction in which we should be moving. In much the same way that the rise of neoliberal capitalism from the 1970s onwards changed the direction of capital's development towards increasing privatisation and commercialisation, the more emphatic dominance of exchange value and an allconsuming fetishistic passion for money power, so an anti-neoliberal movement can point us in an entirely different strategic direction for the coming decades. There are signs in the literature as well as in the social movements of at least a willingness to try to redesign a capitalism based in more ecologically sensitive relations and far higher levels of social justice and democratic governance.2 There are virtues in this piecemeal approach. It proposes a peaceful and non-violent move towards social change of the sort initially witnessed in the early stages ofTahrir, Syntagma and Taksim Squares, although in all these instances the state and police authorities soon responded with astonishing brutality and violence, presumably because these movements had the timerity to go beyond the boundaries of repressive tolerance. It seeks to bring people together strategically around common but limited themes. It can have, also, wide-ranging impacts if and when contagious effects cascade from one kind of contradiction to another. Imagine what the world would be like if the domination of exchange value and the alienated behaviours that attach to the pursuit of money power as Keynes described them were simultaneously reduced and the powers of private persons to profit from social wealth were radically curbed. Imagine, further, if the alienations of the contemporary work experience, of a compensatory consumption that can never satisfy, of untold levels of economic inequality and discordance in the relation to nature, were all diminished by a rising wave of popular discontent with capital's current excesses. We would then be living in a more humane world with much-reduced levels of social inequality and conflict and muchdiminished political corruption and oppression. This does not tell us how highly fragmented though numerous oppositional movements might converge and coalesce into a more unified solidarious movement against capital's dominance.The piecemeal approach fails to register and confront how all the contradictions of capital relate to and through each other to form an organic whole. There is a crying need for some more catalytic conception to ground and animate political action. A collective political subjectivity has to coalesce around some foundational concepts as to how to constitute an alternative economic engine if the powers of capital are to be confronted and overcome. Without that, capital can neither be dispossessed nor displaced. The concept I here find most appropriate is that of alienation.