Part Four: Enhancing Freedom

The second major goal of World After Capital is to propose an approach for a transition to the Knowledge Age. The challenge is to overcome the limits of capitalism, by moving past a society centered on the Job Loop towards one embracing the Knowledge Loop. Part Three will propose changes to regulation and self-regulation that increase human freedom and let us unlock the promise of the Digital Knowledge Loop. There are three components to this:

  1. Economic freedom. We must let everyone meet their basic needs without being forced into the Job Loop. With economic freedom, we can embrace automation and enable everyone to participate in and benefit from the Digital Knowledge Loop.

  2. Informational freedom. We must remove barriers from the Digital Knowledge Loop that artificially limit learning from existing knowledge, creating new knowledge based on what we learn and sharing this new knowledge. At the same time we must build systems that support the operation of critical inquiry in the Digital Knowledge Loop.

  3. Psychological freedom. We must free ourselves from scarcity thinking and its associated fears and other emotional reactions that impede our participation in the Digital Knowledge Loop. Much of the peril of the Digital Knowledge Loop arises directly from a lack of psychological freedom.

These increased individual freedoms offer the possibility of a peaceful transition from the Industrial Age to the Knowledge Age. A transition that is not dictated top down, but results bottom up from individual choices. There is no guarantee that these changes will be sufficient to avoid a disastrous transition, such as the one from the Agrarian Age to the Industrial Age. But I am convinced that without them we are headed for just that, incurring species level risk for humanity. Later, in Part Four, I will write about values and systems necessary for collective action in a world of increased individual freedom.

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