The digital social network has become the technical infrastructure for a global networked state, even if the political and legal trappings for such a global state do not yet exist. The tight connection between state and corporate control of social networks is self-evident, as the NSA can only come into being insofar as they can easily compel Facebook to hand over their data on users. Without Facebook there would be no NSA, just as without IBM there would have not been a Holocaust.
Is there any positive alternative to this emerging new totalitarianism, where our 'authentic' name on Facebook will be our real identity card? Technically the alternatives have not been thought through deeply. A self-hosted identity on our 'own' websites would only lead to a self-enforced totalitarianism, a more decentralized global state.
Could there be a bright side to global state, such as universal basic income? Yet the hard questions are not even being asked by the proponents of universal basic income: Who will precisely guarantee the basic income? Who will hand it out? A universal state is implicit in the demand for a universal basic income. If not-so-universal basic income were handed out on a national level, then immediately one would enter into a situation where rich nation-states, still profiting off of their colonial histories, would simply use the basic income to increase their wealth while those in ex-colonial countries would likely continue to live in a neo-feudal slavery (digital or not) even if rich Europeans and North Americans entered the cybernetic socialist utopia.
Worse, if Facebook was nationalized, handing our digital social network over to the national Post Office to run (as suggested by Morozov) or supported by public funds (as put forward by Fuchs), would not guarantee our identities would be democratically controlled in any real sense of the world. Indeed, suggestions to nationalize Facebook are idiotic, failing to recognize that the NSA itself is a publicly funded national institution of US "democracy." Corporate digital authoritarian and state-based authoritarianism are equally one and the same, hard to tell apart and increasingly internalized by all of us via our self-regulation of behavior on networks like Facebook and Twitter.
So far, attempts to decentralize Facebook so far have ultimately served both the interests of global capital and the state - and even Facebook itself. After all, the "Like" button is decentralized with a single point of surveillance. So while it appears that the treaty of Westphalia may be dissolving, appearances can be deceiving, for it may also be that the nation-states are simply evolving. This year, the proponent of the decentralized social graph and inventor of the Facebook "Like" Button, David Recordon, began working at the White House. The global networked state may be closer than we think.
A new revolutionary strategy for an immaterial labour union is needed that goes beyond vague hand-waving about the "commons" - and far beyond asking for charity from states or corporations in the form of universal basic income. The kernel could be found in the survival program of the Black Panther Party: Their vision of a networked global intercommunalism for the self-organized survival of the people. Ultimately, revolutions are about not about states or income at all. A revolution is based on the bottom-up self-organization of people, starting with the oppressed. it is true that we are oppressed in subtle forms as our own social relationships is reified within digital social networks. Yet within these selfsame digital social networks, we have for the first time in human history the possibility of global bottom-up self-organization. If only we would remember that long-forgotten refrain: All Power to the People!