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NETOCRACY: the new power elite and life after capitalism Paperback – November 17, 2002
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"Read it for the reason business information company Reuters published it: to understand why power in your workplace and your world isn't where you thought." New Scientist
"Contains interesting insights (into the growing likelihood of populist violence among the displaced and dispossessed.)" New Statesman
"An extraordinary book." Computer Weekly
"Digging deeper and wider than any previous effort into what the information revolution truly means, Netocracy is the must-read for anybody even remotely interested in what those kids out there are actually doing to us all with their gadgets. It's a bigger, more dramatic and very different change from what we had expected. Netocracy is the unsurpassable how and when of this whole revolution." Kjell A. Nordström and Jonas Ridderstrale, authors of Funky Business ¿ talent makes capital dance.
"He's seen the future. A renaissance man of many talents, Bard is either a genius or a madman. You decide" The Times Magazine, July 2003
"Alexander Bard, author of 80 hit singles in Scandinavia, is a record producer, Internet mogul, philosophy enthusiast, and much more." FTDynamo, Euro-Gurus
"Netocracy is a fresh take on the information revolution. Bard and Soderqvist's concepts are clear and meticulously explained...the book is a brave account of the challenges ahead." Mail & Guardian Online (South Africa)
From the Back Cover
"Digging deeper and wider than any previous effort into what the information revolution truly means, Netocracy is the must-read. Netocracy is the unsurpassable how and when of this whole revolution."
Kjell A. Nordström and Jonas Riddersträle,
authors of Funky Business
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 imaginedonly not in the way that they and their investors hoped. The move from a society dominated by print and broadcast mass media to the age 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 touted as 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 dividedbut 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.
netocrat ne·to-krat n. The netocrat has created and not inherited his social identity. He/she is self-made in the most fundamental meaning of the word. The netocrat has money but it is a means and not an end goal. He/she outsmarts the capitalist by ruling the networks that now rule the world. The netocrat is an artistic and political manipulator who has turned networking into an artform.
"Alexander Bard, author of 80 hit singles in Scandinavia, is a record producer, Internet mogul, philosophy enthusiast, and much more."
Top Customer Reviews
As Bard & Söderqvist explains, democracy, as we know it is in crises and as example they show how the boundary between politics and gossip is increasingly being erased. As in the last episode of the Dilbert TV series, where Dilbert creates the Internet Voting Network with the vision of brining democracy to the people, it is clear that some political issues are to complicate for the masses to understand so the media grabs any opportunity to vilify the politician's social misbehaviour instead. No wonder voter participation all over the world is down and as often quoted example more people voted in the finals of Big Brother TV series then in the last British election. What we lack today is not information but overview and context.
One of the more controversial assertions in NETOCRACY is that when a taboo has been transgressed in one specific area, it is impossible to maintain this taboo for society in general. It will become quite "natural" to regulate how reproduction should occur.Read more ›
Based on a thorough historical perspective, the authors claim the arrival of a new elite after first feudalism and now capitalism. They call this new power elite the Netocrats.
Some critics claim the authors do not provide academic rigour to backup their claims. Indeed, not one reference to related books or articles is presented although the authors name sources of inspiration.
Is this a bad thing? Not at all. The result is a highly readible book as opposed to other books which make you check the references each couple of sentences. This does not mean the book is a "simple" book. Be prepared for an intellectual text compared to the usual management books written by the well-known authors.
The book is a heavy contribution to all the discussions on the impact technology has on the power balance in the next era.
Like me you might not agree with the authors on all issues, at least you read one of the most interesting books of this decade.
Bard paints a picture where the new social does replaces but not coexists with current formations (par examples, feodalism is not dead yet!) There are no concrete examples of social networks that will survive in near future and/or gain momentum; Bard mockingly hints that the changes will so deft that we can't notice it yet.
Perfect book. Don't rely on it. Don't trust it. Try your own way on perceiving reality and the past. And may be you get high ranks netocratic society. If there are any ranks would exist!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I checked this book out for some background research on a paper that I'm working on for a conference. I had hoped it would be more scholarly and was quite disappointed. Read morePublished on January 30, 2007 by J. Aragon
The authors present theire view of a completly new economic system that will is generated by the information devices now available. Read morePublished on January 9, 2007 by M. Nuts
The book with super ideas! But you should find them in the informational flow. And if you find and understand them - you will get the new power - the knowledge that will enable you... Read morePublished on August 17, 2005 by Jack