With a framework for understanding the potential impact of anything new, based on its ability to connect things previously not connected, we have a tool to evaluate new ideas even before they are put into practice. Indeed, understanding the order of magnitude of the potential impact tells us a lot about how difficult any new idea is going to be to implement.
Note that this has nothing to do with market potential, although they could be related. Ideas often circulate with no ability to monetize them, and some inventions are worth quite a lot without really changing too much in the world.
Using the Syndesic Framework as describe previously, we can at least understand what new things are going to change the world the most and through that have an understanding of where a free and open society needs to focus its thinking, discussion, and passion. So let’s give that a try.
Change, through the advancement of technology, very much defines our world. New tools are developed constantly, and day by day our life changes. The sum total of all of these small changes is still quite large and contributes to both our hope and anxiety. For all of that, however, it’s entirely possible to evaluate and adapt small changes one at a tie gradually, without a lot of concern.
Take, for example, the “killer app” that many startups are pinning their dreams of fortune on. A solid invention is really just a First Order agent of change, having only the potential to change the processes of daily life. A very good one might influence perspective, but only if it is significant. Software like this, no matter how successful in the market, is going to at best be Second Order.
Let’s call that S2 for shorthand.
Agents of large scale change rarely come through the market themselves. If anything, they are often hard to fully monetize because they are based on large ideas which cannot be fully contained. The creation of an ideology, for example, could come with a lot of book sales and maybe a speaking tour. It could change the world, but the value of it is never going to be realized by one person.
Changes in manufacturing techniques are one example of such large agents of change. Performance Based Management, as an example, has changed all aspects of process. It also changes perspectives. But it does not change the way facts are connected in a significant way, meaning that it is S3 or S4 at best. We can discuss exactly where it falls and nail it down more precisely.
What does it take to be an S6, like the body of all things we might call “the internet?”
Given that these are orders of magnitude, like the Richter Scale for measuring earthquakes, we would expect that the largest seismic changes in the way the world is organized are rare. A good example is the development of empires as stable systems from roughly 2000 years ago. This was enabled by and encouraged the development of roads and literacy, two things which changed the way everything is connected.
Life before and after the creation of an empire was changed so completely that it was not possible to describe it before it happened.
The Industrial Revolution certainly falls into this category, too. People crowded into cities and worked for “money” for the first time, developing a new kind of economy. Every single aspect of life changed, which created new perspectives and connected them together in new ways. It changed the way facts were organized, and thus connected, bringing a new sense of discipline to science. This is what an S6 type of change looks like.
With this analysis, we can predict at least the magnitude of change coming, given these examples.
The main contention of Barataria is that the shift from Industrial Nationalism to Global Marketism is a highly significant change which we are not at all prepared to deal with. We lack the language to even consider the choices that a free society has to make at all levels, be they personal, social, economic, political, or spiritual. But can this be backed up by discussion the nature of the change we can expect?
First of all, there are two changes happening at once. The shift from national sovereignty to a global system is one, and the shift from industrial organization to a market orientation is another. They need to be considered separately.
Nation states, as we know them, date from the Treaty of Westphalia in 1638. The original agreement was to not mess with each nation’s religion, but this gradually expanded to include all matters. After the internationalism of Napoleon, it was largely cemented into western thought. Communist internationalism was seen as a significant threat.
We can see that globalism is hardly new with only a quick glance at history. So how big is the change?
First of all, the interconnection of facts has been global for quite some time. Scientists have been working through international cooperation since the end of World War II, a key cornerstone of the protection of peach. Processes, such as Just In Time delivery, traveled the globe easily as long ago as the 1970s. The new connection between people has certainly connected perspectives which were never connected before.
Globalism, as we have known it since the 1950s, is certainly an S6 force. It needs to be considered as changing as the development of empire or the industrial revolution.
What about markets, however? The change described is from the “push” system of industry, based on the needs of production, to a “pull” system based on the needs of a market. The emphasis shifts from supply to demand. Labor and machines need to be flexible to respond to this.
Such a concept is certainly fueled by commerce on the internet, but the roots of it go back to the work of W Edwards Demming. The development of containerized cargo is also important.
What is less obvious is that various facts about the world, such as the presence of resources and the needs of people, are newly connected by the market. The process-centered market also changes perspectives very significantly with incentives attached to new insights. It may seem less obvious, but a change to marketism is certainly an S6 event in itself.
The point is that we have two distinct S6 events happening at the same time, and three if you include the internet itself.
These changes are coming very rapidly, not over the period of generations which it took to fully realize the Industrial Revolution. They are very closely connected themselves, and may eventually be considered one thing. But even when teased apart, they are significant by themselves.
In short, the shift from Industrial Nationalism to Global Marketism needs to be evaluated as if it is as significant as the development of Empires or the Industrial Revolution. We know from history that every aspect of life, including language, had to change to fully realize both of these events.
This naturally begs an important question, however. When have we, as a free people, discussed these concepts and what changes they have brought and will bring?
Through the Syndesic Framework we can see that we are in the middle of massive historical change. There can be no question that the principles which guided us in the past are not going to guide us very adequately in the future. That prospect should be terrifying, but more important is the simple fact that this terror can and must be put into its own framework for appropriate action.
Finally, we have the second working definition of People’s Economics, based entirely on the need for a new way of looking at the world based on what we can see what is coming. The two definitions will be discussed in more detail later.