In an age that has seen the emergence of the “knockoff economy”—where no copyright protection of certain industries has had no negative impact on innovation and creativity—and the “shared economy”—where the millennia generation prefers access to the ownership of goods and services—it seems that indeed we have entered a new economic phase or paradigm. Some have understood them in terms of a “hybrid” or “postcapitalist” economy, where strands of capitalist and socialist theories coexist without rancor or where the best of both come to fruition.

Jeremy Rifkin is not a newcomer to this conversation, having written Biosphere Politics in 1991 and The Age of Access in 2000. After a quarter of a century his voice should be heard, regardless of any disagreement about the details of his analysis. For him, the Third Industrial Revolution in the twenty-first century is characterized in these terms: “The Internet is becoming the communication medium...

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