The Maker Movement

Made in Brooklyn is a critique of the Maker Movement:

In reality, the Maker Movement is a total conquest of the concept of production within the paradigm of consumption, subsuming labor within leisure. While media production has long been part of the consumer landscape, the last remaining and most stubborn realm of production – the creation of physical objects – has now, thanks to new technology, also been successfully domesticated within the space of consumption. Maker Movement products are not replacing mass-produced products from overseas factories, nor is that their goal. The motivation for makers, rather, one that resonates with consumer culture: the expression of individual identity and creativity. Masquerading as the resurrection of long-lost industrial production, the Maker Movement has embraced consumer-grade computer-aided tools like laser cutters, 3D printers, and CNC machines… Proponents of the Maker Movement regularly cite the Marxist adage that bourgeoisie power derives from control of the means of production. They argue that makers and the revolution in digital production technology finally allowed the proletariat to seize the means of production. This continual reference to Marx, a cheerful declaration of the end of class conflict, disguises the neoliberal underpinnings of the Maker Movement.

March 10, 2020