Viva Netocracy?

There is a Swedish philosopher (and musician) called Alexander Bard. He predicts that democracy and capitalism are about to be replaced by something entirely new. The Netocracy.

There used to be an idea that global corporations would replace nations. In the era of the Netocracy nation states and corporations are eclipsed by global networks.

The networks will be oriented and led by Netocrats. The rest of us will be the Consumtariat. Netocrats will tell the rest of where and when to buy.

The term Netocracy wasn't coined by Bard. It was a neologism invented by the editors of Wired magazine. However Bard saw the need for good stories to have both a protagonist and antagonist. By creating the idea of the Consumtariat he introduces a force that is both symbiotic and antagonistic - a fusion of Marxist ideas (the proletariat in opposition to the capitalists)

Since 1970 it has been possible to communicate with interactive media. Now attention is the scarcest resource, and capital is not the fundament anymore. Money is not the crucial power anymore, because you can't buy yourself into a network. Money is second-rated, and what is bought for money obtains a loss of credibility. This is a major power shift.

The society is divided between

* The netocracy – those who are connected in interactive networks, and
* The consumtariat – those who thinks that interactivity is selecting channels on a television

Individualism has been abandoned, and instead networking is in. The old identities are worthless, and the new identity will be defined in subcultures.

* Who has got the power? Especially the curator, the one who sorts the information.
* What is his reward? Dynamics.
* What will be the next? We don't know. We'll be obsessed with dynamics.

In a democracy the majority rules and works. But it reigns a closed space, a nation state.

But the nation state has vanished. Will you die for Sweden? No – the nation state is dead. It means, that we have a plurocracy where the minorities can walk out like it has always been in the plucratic culture in the United States. If a group did not like the others, they went west.

Maybe a network can convert into a company? Surely, a company can convert into a network.

Money is not important for the upper class anymore. You need money as you need food, but it is not the most wanted resource anymore.

From a speech by Alexander Bard

Interesting ideas. What do you think?


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