Software Eats Marxism

I wrote this in 2015; I think it holds up pretty well.

Unlimited, on-demand basic resources (food, shelter, transport) have long been a characteristic of science fiction.

The power of the “sharing economy” is that it offers a capitalistic (and hence realistic) model of how to deliver these.

With sufficient network density, sharing algorithms unlock dramatic economies of time, space and scale.

The efficiency gains at scale are large enough to subsidize network participants and pay the owners of the algo platform.

That’s where Uber, Airbnb, and their ilk come in. They get paid to coordinate the usage of otherwise idle resources.

Software is eating the world: this is the breakthrough that eluded every previous top-down resource allocation method (eg socialism).

Localization + computing power + increasing returns from network effects solves Hayek’s information problem.

People focus too much on the micro aspects of resource-sharing (labor policy, taxation, unit economics). They’re missing the macro.