A huge precondition for the sharing economy has been a depressed labor market, in which lots of people are trying to fill holes in their income by monetizing their stuff and their labor in creative ways. In many cases, people join the sharing economy because they’ve recently lost a full-time job and are piecing together income from several part-time gigs to replace it. In a few cases, it’s because the pricing structure of the sharing economy made their old jobs less profitable. (Like full-time taxi drivers who have switched to Lyft or Uber.) In almost every case, what compels people to open up their homes and cars to complete strangers is money, not trust.
The recuperation of the artistic critique by capitalism did not bring about a transfer to the social critique, which, as we have seen, was itself in crisis. A majority of intellectuals made as if it was nothing, and continued to display the hallmarks (notably sartorial) of an opposition to the business world and enterprise, and to regard as transgressive moral and aesthetic positions that were now incorporated into commodity goods, and offered without restrictions to the public at large. The kind of disquiet that this more or less conscious bad faith was bound to provoke found an outlet in the critique of the media and mediatization as the derealization and falsification of a world where they remained the exclusive guardians of authenticity. Among a minority it led to the adoption of the only course still available: public silence, aristocratic withdrawal, individual resistance, and an eschatological anticipation of the implosion of capitalism (in the manner of communism) or the collapse of modernity upon itself. In this case, too, it was not unrealistic to diagnose the end of critique.
Luc Boltanski and Eve Chiapello, The New Spirit of Capitalism, trans. Gregory Elliott (Verso, 2005; first pub. Gallimard, 1999), p. 327.
A very pithy, barbed passage from a book that is mostly the opposite of pithy (i.e. exhaustively, exhaustingly detailed, specific, empirical, and rigourous).