Summary: The world will not live without logos, but neither will capitalism silently take over democracy. What comes next?
Forget capitalism and the class struggle, we are witnessing the birth of a whole new world. The digital revolution is, in fact, changing things far more dramatically then the hype-mongers of tech Internet ever imagined--only not in the way that they and their investors hoped. The move from a society dominated by print and broadcast mass media to the ...show moreage of interactivity is at least as dramatic as the move from feudalism to capitalism.
After capitalism comes attentionalism. Those who can harness global networks of information and master new forms of communication will control business, finance and legislation, forming the new business and government elites. They will inherit the power; they are the Netocracy.
Driven by the Internet and mobile communications, networks are turning into the major means of doing business, organising action, getting knowledge; the organising principle for the information age. Simply put, networks will make the world go round. So controlling the networks of this world will soon count for more than controlling the capital.
Manuel Castells has described the Internet as the most extraordinary technological revolution in history. But he also suggests it is as underdeveloped socially as it is overdeveloped technologically. The societal implications of the communications revolution are going to hit soon. Netocracy predicts what they will be, where the power will flow and draws some remarkable conclusions about life after capitalism.
And who will have the power in a world dominated by networks?
The Internet has often been toutedas a radically decentralized unpredictable phenomenon thriving beyond the control of individuals, corporations or governments. In Netocracy, Bard and Soderqvist show that the transparent and non-hierarchical society proclaimed by the enthusiastic early Internet pioneers is one of the greatest myths of the information age. Future society will be hierarchical. It will be divided--but not along lines of wealth and academic merit. Capitalist structures will be broken down.
Power will not lie with those who own the means of production, but with those who sort and provide information: "It is the people who can create and sustain attention that are the Netocracy, the new holders of power, not those who simply supply capital." People who can manipulate networks and the information that runs through them will inherit the future. These are the netocrats. The netocracy consists of people with excellent social skills and a talent for the adept manipulation of information. Those without this ability to use the new interactive media technology to their advantage will form the lower classes of the digital age. ...show less