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Why is it all kicking off? 24 January 2012

Posted by cooperatoby in cooperative.
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Paul Mason in his Guardian video says that the Capitalist Realism of the Neocons – the belief that while we studied reality they were remaking it – has come crashing to a halt. A generation has had the future they predicted cancelled just like that, and some have adopted very radical beliefs: from Lib Dem to Black Block anarchist. Many of them don’t read ‘old stuff’, but rely on social media, which are consistently 14 hours ahead of the mainstream. In the 20th century telephone companies extracted value from the network effect; what today’s protesters are doing is extracting another kind of value, which is non-monetary. Social media give you a free hit of momentum – and of ‘dis-momentum’ – protesters know when to swarm and when to break off. Sociologists have thought this mercurial nature of the social media generation is a weakness, but it can be a strength.

There seems to be a link with the flocking behaviour of birds like starlings, the preferred image of the European Social Franchising Network.


1. Keith Richardson - 24 January 2012

Capitalism (state capitalism as well) worked on the basis that accumulating resources in one place bought economies of scale and power. Such an approach can only work in a world of low cost energy and low cost waste. It takes energy to bring things to a central point and then distribute them and the amount of waste can not be dealt with without poisoning the local ecosystem. In world where energy is no longer cheap and we have run out of places to dump waste without having serious and unaccpetable consequances capitalism of the type we know runs into problems. So now we have to move away from centralised control and production to distributed energy and subsidiarity. This all favours social enterprise and social franchising is a way of organising the social economy in what has been described as the third industrial age.

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