It’s chaos out there. Change is going nuts! And the crazy part is that it’s speeding up.
But does this mean that we are moving into a post-capitalistic society – and if so, WTF does that even mean to your business?
Well, I think we are. And I think there 3 very compelling reasons why this is so. But before I get into the 3 reasons why I think we are, I just want to back up and understand what is driving this.
Technology Is The Driver of Human Evolution
Stop and look back for a moment. Every major human shift has been as a result of some change in technology. It is technology that has leapfrogged us forward and defined the pace and scale of change.
What technology has done is enable humans beings to become something more. It’s liberated our need to be physical farm horses and helped moved us out of poverty and serfdom and into a life of greater well-being and prosperity. Its helped liberate the human mind and opens our eyes to new possibilities and potential.
Politics Follows Economics Follows Technology
What this all means is that technology has redefined how we live, how we work, and how we spend our time.
As we have evolved through various stages of technology, our economic models have changed. And the further back we look, the longer it took to change. But it redefines the way we economically view and act. This ultimately redefines how we govern ourselves – or the political systems that govern us.
Moving Beyond Capitalism
The critical point I am making here is that a change in technology has a massive impact on how we live, how we work and how we govern ourselves. It is the catalyst for a change in our economic and our political models.
Here are 3 reasons why I believe we are evolving into a post-capitalistic society?
Reason One: Abundance
Capitalism is defined by scarcity – or a scarcity mindset. The less there is of something, the more valuable it is. Every industry and every company has an incentive to create scarcity in order to profit maximise.
Yet Technology has gone exponential – which means that change no happens linearly in a 1,2,3,4,5 sequence. It now moves in a 1,2,4,8,16 sequence.
This exponential curve happens in two ways – the speed of technology advancement gets quicker and while the reduction in costs is happening in the other way.
A very simple example is your smartphone. 30 years ago the collective technology would have cost you millions of dollars to purchase rather than the few hundred dollars. You would have had to buy a phone, a camera, a mapping technology (like Google maps) and so on separately. Now its neatly packaged and simplified into a cheap, easy to use platform.
The impact that exponential technologies and disruptive technology like AI, Robotics, Nanotechnology, Biotechnology, Big Data, Ubiquitous Internet Connection, and 3D Printing will change everything.
The scarce resources will become more abundant. Energy technology is a great example – where it’s moving to a point where it will be so cheap to produce through renewable tech that it will be virtually free. Vertical farming is another example. Water – a massive potential crisis – is being solved through exponential technologies.
Sure, we have a way to go but the solutions are coming at us at an exponential speed of 1,2,4,8,16,32,64. But what will happen when technology can provide for our basic needs at virtually zero cost? It changes everything about how we live, how we work and how we spend our time.
Reason Two: Trust
There was a time when your personal reputation meant everything. Your word was everything and the quality of your work and your ethics defined how well you respected in the community. A bad baker, a shoddy horse-smith would not get any repeat or new business.
We lost this when we moved into a capitalistic world. We could be anonymous; produce poor work, break our word and generally have no ethical morals what so ever – and still be rewarded for it. Trust no longer mattered. People no longer needed skin in the game. This gave rise to intermediaries that could be trusted – like a bank or a government.
What happens when technology evolves to hold us accountable to our word, tops the promises we make and the commitments we undertake? It changes everything and this technology is the blockchain
Blockchain will essentially be the trusted intermediary and is immutable. The speed of new Blockchain solutions is growing daily. Platforms like Etherium have opened up the world of decentralised autonomous organisation (DAO) and smart contracts.
What the blockchain gives us is a mechanic to enforce the commitments we make, to be able to trust each other’s words again.
Reason Three: Distributed
Distributed – A balance between decentralisation and centralisation
Politics, economics, religion, and most other social constructs in today’s world are driven by a centralisation of authority, control, power and the ability to manipulate. Even the new startup model mirrors this idea. A great example is Uber that has been designed to disrupt the taxi industry globally and extract the value to a concentrated few. You can think of this kind of startup as an another financial instrument that creates value for the very few at the centre.
Nature is the opposite of this. It is a distributed system that balances a centralised and decentralised framework. A fractal equation is an example of this.
Solutions like Bitcoin are examples of what’s possible through a distributed system – where an overarching set of principles guide the ecosystem’s growth without any centralised authority controlling the system. This means that the ecosystems work in harmony with themselves and create value rather than in conflict with itself.
What Does This All Mean?
The above points are broad strokes that I believe are driving us into a new type of economic and political system – or a post-capitalistic system. I am really not sure how this will all pan out but I am expressly positive.
- Do I believe we will go through massive change? Yes!
- Do I believe that it will be painful? Yes!
- Do I believe that it will be a good thing? Yes, I do!
I also believe that these are not the only 3 reasons that we are moving into a post-capitalistic society. I am sure if you really think about you could add to this. And if you do please add them to comment’s section below.
I deliver a keynote on this topic, so to hear more please drop us a note via our contact page.