According to journalist James Fallows, the first sprigs of maker culture as a social movement – often demarcated by the Maker Faire in 2006 in San Francisco, but with a longer history descending from twentieth-century hacker and countercultural movements – was a response to the resounding sentiment that ‘America doesn’t make things anymore’. This grave matter at the centre of con – temporary US politics, and perhaps all advanced economies, is the well-discussed deindustrialisation of manufacturing activity, which declines in inverse relation to an economy’s overall wealth. This has been one explanation for the rise of the maker movement: that with the growing momentum of digital-mechanised efficiency and high-volume goods production from overseas, recent DIY fervour is a necessary pursuit of niches in low-volume, self-directed production. A closely related analysis says that the need to make in and of itself is behind the proliferation of the craft ethos, which has been so perverted in systems of mass production as to erupt defiantly now.3 With this has followed often high optimism as to the ability of makers and their communities to bypass commercial models of operation and pursue opportunities for post-capitalist consumption.
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