What is California Ideology?

The Californian Ideology is the title of an essay that was written by Andy Cameron and Richard Barbrook in 1995. The two media theorists were talking about the relationship between technologies in the United States and its relationship with the economy and freedom of a nation. The growing number of technology companies in Silicon Valley in the 90s, they claimed, was somehow connected to American neo-liberalism. Neoliberalism refers to the rebirth of 19 th century ideas linked to a form of economic freedom in which people have more power in making decisions related to the economy. At the same time, the two writers argue that the link between technology and economic freedom will lead to a contradictory union of left and right beliefs.


The essay was first published in 1995 when it appeared in the journal Mute. Another aspect was on an Internet mailing list for the purpose of a debate with the final copy of the essay appearing in 1996 in Science and Culture. The corresponding criticism of the essay has also been written and reviewed several times in different languages.


Several criticisms were in agreement with the essay including David Hudson of Rewired magazine. Hudson argued that the writers’ argument that the holders of world power are directed by a single philosophical concept is flawed. Instead, Hudson claims that there are a lot of constructs or ideas about work that mislead these people.

There have been positive responses from others such as Andrew Leonard of the Salon who described the essay as a well-pronounced, harsh and penetrating criticism of people in power. Leonard did not fail to take note of Louis Rosetto del Filo who had a very harsh criticism, something that Leonard described as a striking fact, towards the original essay. Another person from the Salon, Gary Kamiya, had a mixed reception towards the theme. While appreciating the validity of the arguments formulated in the essay, Kamiya attacked the authors’ idea that technological advances will translate into a renaissance of racism.

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