18 Mastering the Global Transition: a wrap-up.


    Ronald van den Hoff

    It is time for a wrap-up of the story of Society 3.0. We have touched and discussed many topics in this book, but remember, we are in a transition period. What is new today is old tomorrow. People may adore the new opportunities or may detest them. Some people see the opportunities, while others are still in denial and assume that sooner or later it will be business as usual again. Still, I don’t think we have a luxury of choice here. We have to change. We have to move. We have to reinvent ourselves, society, and the way we create value. The old is gone. Society30 is imminent.

    “In recent years, Western capitalism has done nothing more than shift possessions from the poor to the rich, and it is aided by a complex monetary system that is holding us hostage. This form of modern capitalism does not only grind the faces of the poor, but also our natural resources. Nothing is replenished or compensated for, and everything is exploited and bled dry. This is no longer a sustainable model. What we have come to understand as democracy is a poor substitute for the essence of the words demos (people) and krateo (rule). As a people, we have no say anymore. We have an immense economic problem, but do not expect any solutions from our publishers, car manufacturers, housing contractors, or pharmaceutical companies. The established companies are not going to solve this problem, and neither will our Western world political or administrative structures” (Van den Hoff, 2011).

    The social market economy has ruled in Europe for decades. This system redistributed 65% or more of the national income, via the government, to all social groups. Traditional capitalism is predominantly focused on enriching the stockholders, and, in doing so, it is not only antisocial, but also far from being sustainable. We will not be able to keep the temperature on the planet stable, restore our supply of fossil fuels, and establish international banking control if we hold on to the redistribution policy of the Anglo Saxon (the capitalist macroeconomic model in which levels of regulation and taxes are low, and government provides relatively fewer services) and/or the Rhineland Economic Model (the capitalist macroeconomic counterpart which is founded on publicly-organized social security). All things considered, this way of redistributing wealth is an outdated concept. Why is our entire economic theory based on the scarcity of people, means, and time, resulting in having to make choices? Why do we have to give up one thing if we choose the other? Thinking in terms of limitations gets us deadlocked in an economic and social sense. We have seen many countries of the European Monetary Union build a larger budget deficit than others. In May 2010, the Euro almost collapsed because the collaboration and budget discipline was nowhere in sight. Obviously, an easy-going budget discipline is not desirable in normal times, but in times of crisis, it is deadly. We still reason from the viewpoint of limitations and boundaries, and we are building towering walls around our national interests, so the threat of a Euro collapse is still present.

    This crisis will persist, and will be felt for a long time. Many countries within and outside Europe will have to put up with a great deal in the next few years. There is nothing but a lot of hot air, which will convert into financial disillusions. Just think of the enormous rise of the aging population in Europe, and the fragile situation of the welfare state, the pension system, and the connected level of spending of our municipalities, the rising costs of our health care, and the inevitable depletion of our natural reserves. We have yet to experience the effects of these developments. Hot air, after all, is intangible. And intangibility translates into financial depreciation. It is no wonder that there is polarization in our society. It seems as if it’s time for a revolution, or innovation. What we really need is an Innovution!

    (Note from the author: chapters 19, 19.1, 19.2, 19.3 and 19.4 , or parts from it, appeared in the book Knowmad Society, in which I wrote a chapter on the growing importance of knowmads and new value creation in Society 3.0).