There is an emerging global orthodoxy concerning the relation between technology and society: the Californian Ideology.
On the West Coast, skilled workers and entrepreneurs in the hypermedia industries form the 'virtual class'. Like the 'labour aristocracy' of the last century, core personnel in the media, computing and telecoms experience both the insecurities and rewards of the marketplace. The Californian Ideology reflects this ambiguity by simultaneously advocating the New Left utopia of the electronic agora and the New Right's vision of the electronic marketplace.
However both left- and right-wing anarchists ignore the key role of taxpayers' dollars in the creation of the PC and the Net. The exclusion of public institutions from the construction of cyberspace can only increase the fragmentation of American society into antagonistic, racially-determined classes.
Within Europe, it is now necessary for us to assert the necessity for an enlightened mixed economy - rather than to copy the dogmas of the Californian ideologues. Only then can we fully grasp the Promethean opportunities of the next stage of modernity.
This version was published in Very Cyber, May 1996.