Part Four: Enhancing Freedom

My first major aim in writing this book was to establish that we are currently experiencing a period of non-linear change, and my second aim is to outline a plan for our transition to the Knowledge Age. Our challenge is to overcome the limits of capitalism and move away from a society centered on the job loop toward one that embraces the knowledge loop. This section of The World After Capital will propose changes in regulation and self-regulation that would increase human freedom and unlock the promise of the digital knowledge loop. There are three components to this:

  1. Economic freedom. We must ensure that everyone’s needs are met without them being forced into the job loop. Once we have 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 to the digital knowledge loop that limit our ability to learn from existing knowledge, in order to accelerate the creation and sharing of new knowledge. At the same time, we must build systems into the digital knowledge loop that support critical inquiry.

  3. Psychological freedom. We must free ourselves from scarcity thinking and the associated fears that impede our participation in the digital knowledge loop. Learning, creating and sharing knowledge all require us to overcome barriers in our minds, some of which are evolutionary and others the result of social pressure.

With these increased freedoms will come the possibility of a peaceful transition from the Industrial Age to the Knowledge Age that is not dictated from the top down, but results from the choices of individuals and the communities they form. There is no guarantee that these changes will be sufficient to avoid a disastrous transition, but I am convinced that without them we are headed for just that, incurring species-level risk for humanity. Later in the book I will discuss the values and systems that are necessary for successful collective action in a world of increased individual freedom.

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