A New Kind of Labor, A New Kind of Surplus Value, Same Old Exploitation

Via the Indymedia video listserv I just found a very interesting essay called "What the MySpace generation should know about working for free"

...labor has become performance, the act of being a speaker within communication systems. To paraphrase the old saying: The greatest trick that capital ever pulled was convincing the world that labor didn't exist. Labor today, is a 'casualized' and often distributed immaterial activity.

The mere presence of Tara and her friends on MySpace creates value. Surely, the generated monetary value varies; highly popular clips like the treadmill video on YouTube generated over ten million views, while others receive little attention. The quantity of small acts of labor makes YouTube profitable for Google.

Can a convincing teen-friendly version of this essay be concocted? What would kids say to this, even if it was in an easy to read, fun, non-academic tone? Would they just say "so what"? As the text goes on to say,

...I'd argue for the need of an awareness of servitude. This awareness has not been socialized among the most fervent participants of the sociable web: American teens. Despite misleading statistics, most 'MySpacesters' are young and live in the United States. Their upbringing did not instill an awareness of their embrace of market-based behavior [15] (5) . The fact that one person lives off another