2013 marked significant growth in the new sharing economy, ride-sharing company Lyft saw a twenty fold increase in users and room-sharing platform Airbnb gained 6 million customers. Last year also exposed the legality issues of sharing services and has now intertwined the sharing economy with regulators. Currently, most legal focus is on ride-sharing (e.i. Lyft and Uber) and room-sharing (Airbnb). However the sharing economy has a directory of hundreds of different platforms that provide peer-peer sharing that have the potential to violate some sort of established regulation. The sharing economy has been referred to as an "ugly throwback to the dark days of socialism". The article by In These Times asks "Is the sharing economy in fact socialist, or in any way anti-capitalist?".
In these Times met with David Golumbia, assistant professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University and author of The Cultural Logic of Computation, Neal Gorenflo, co-founder and publisher of Shareable Magazine, and the SolidarityNYC collective to discuss the sharing conundrum. Check out the full article here and let us know what you think. Does the sharing economy encourage an anti-capitalist economy? Or a socialist one?