The Rise of Technosocialism: How Inequality, AI and Climate will Usher in a New World

The Rise of Technosocialism: How Inequality, AI and Climate will Usher in a New World

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Overview

What is the impact of COVID-19 on world economies? If the cost of providing universal health care is lower than the cost of building a political movement to prevent it, would politicians still view it as socialism? In a world where algorithms and robots take the jobs of immigrants and citizens alike, are border controls an effective response? If unemployment skyrockets due to automation, would conservative governments rather battle long-term social unrest, or could they agree on something like universal basic income? When renewable energy sources are a fraction of the cost of coal generated electricity, should lobbyists be able to prevent changes to energy infrastructure? When the crowd’s mood is measured in influence and exabytes, will real-time democracy render elections a thing of the past?

International Bestselling authors Brett King and Dr. Richard Petty explore the seismic social changes that will be thrust on the world over the coming decades. The Rise of Technosocialism seeks to answer how our children will live with AI and climate disruption, the impact of COVID-19 in our lives along with which economies will likely emerge victorious in an always-on, smart world. 


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9789814868952
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish International (Asia)
Publication date: 11/21/2021
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 180,347
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Brett King is an entrepreneur, futurist, and International Bestselling Author. China’s President Xi Jinping cited his book Augmented: Life in the Smart Lane in his 2018 national address; Augmented was a Top 10 non-fiction book in North America. In 2019 his book Bank 4.0 was awarded the Top Book by a Foreign Author in Russia. In 2015 he was shortlisted for the Advance Global Australian of the Year Award. Banking Exchange magazine dubbed him the “King of Disruptors”. He advised the Obama Administration, and governments and regulators around the world on future tech.

Dr Richard Petty is a policy advisor, entrepreneur and awarded academic. Based in Hong Kong, Richard has lived and worked in Greater China since the 1990’s. Richard has chaired entities with global footprint, and presently sits on the boards of listed companies in the United States and Australia. He has advised on projects with an aggregate economic impact in the hundreds of billions of dollars, and has led studies on economic competitiveness. Richard previously served as a member of the B20—the official G20 dialogue forum with the global business community—on the Financing Growth and Infrastructure Taskforce. Richard has authored or co-authored more than 100 academic and professional works including several books, and several of his journal articles are among the top cited in their fields.

Read an Excerpt

PREFACE
 
If socialism was free, would the political right still be opposed to it?  
 
Whenever a book has the term “socialism” in its title, it is bound to elicit emotive and impassioned responses from those who would criticize a certain political ideology. Let us be clear: we are politically agnostic in this effort. Neither of us aims to sell you socialism as a political strategy. We simply seek to forecast how macro changes in our society will force changes in policy, economics, education, consumption and culture in a way that would previously have been unthinkable. These are the unintended consequences emerging out of strategies and policies implemented over the last 200 years. Consequences of media that sold the rest of the world on the lofty goals of the “American Dream”, of the race to technical dominance, along with less clear efforts seemingly intended to undermine the progress made by humanity in eliminating poverty, closing the gap in wealth inequality and expanding globalism. All this supercharged by the power of the internet, social media and a constant, 24/7 flow of debate and propaganda.  
 
Whatever political ideology you align with, mankind is coming to a fork in the road. Climate change, emerging artificial intelligence, social upheaval and the clash between patriotic nationalism and the inevitability of globalism are coalescing into a crucible. How will humankind emerge from this battle?  
 
The best way to describe the likely outcome, we believe, is as we have articulated in these pages. This will be the rise of a technology-driven, collective social consciousness and purpose. If that term makes you think of a classical, right-wing conservative view of socialism, of debates around Venezuela’s economic collapse or the writings of Karl Marx, let us stop you right there. This is absolutely not what we are advocating.
 
We are simply looking at the fact that multiple trends, converging forces and looming social issues will cause the entire world to challenge traditional views of functioning democracies, capitalism and Western political ideals as crises continue to impact us. It could best be described as a global social movement that forces huge change in respect to inclusion and policy. If we could find a better term to describe the evolving geopolitical and economic landscape, we’d embrace it. Neo-capitalism? Nope— capitalism is a core driver of those unintended consequences creating social division. Twenty-first century democracy? No. This doesn’t get close to describing the impact social media, artificial intelligence (AI) and technology have had—and will continue to have—on politics. Populism? No, that’s just a symptom of a failing system, a broader reaction to globalization, and not a solution to the political and social divide.  
 
Consider the broad political spectrum we’ve seen during the 20th century. While in the United States the Democratic Party is often considered somewhere between centrist and radical left, the reality is that from a global historical perspective they’re more centrist than communist, which is a consequence of a US Constitution that emphasizes individual over collective rights. Things like universal health care, free education and strong social security don’t make governments historically far-left; in fact, many democracies that field these basic services would be right of centre today.  
 
There are a few major forces that are likely to turn the classic political spectrum on its head during the 21st century. Firstly, high levels of automation will shift “Big Government” culture back toward the centre as technology allows us to provide the services we’d expect from a large functioning government, but at a fraction of the cost and resources we typically experienced during the 20th century. Secondly, the effects of climate, ongoing pandemics and growing inequality will push government more broadly towards collective rights and action. Lastly, the sharing economy combined with growing inequality will mean more people are comfortable with common ownership than accumulating assets like cars, housing, etc. More on this in our opening chapters.
 
These changes will tend to make governance much more of a collective mission, and certainly shift governance in general to the centre over the next 30–50 years. Cooperation between governments globally to combat climate change and rolling pandemics will also create more of a collective focus. Corporations in this future will be forced to mitigate massive wealth accumulation and high-levels of automation with strategies that focus on their social commitment and environmental responsibility.   
 
Economically, we are entering an era of explosive uncertainty. Over the last 40 years we have assembled a collection of the richest, most profitable individuals and companies the world has ever seen; but as change has accelerated, we’re leaving large swathes of society behind. The number of wealthy individuals or the size of corporate profits within a geographical footprint can no longer be considered a wholly positive measure of broad-based future macro-economic success.  
 
As technology reshapes supply and demand economics, capital markets will adapt, and labour participation will be turned on its head. If your economy hasn’t educated, retrained and supported your people sufficiently, along with investing in next-generation infrastructure, stimulating the right kind of investments—the impact will be severe. Technology-based displacement of traditional jobs is one thing; but the realization by the vast majority of your populace that they have no economic future, no real and valued stake in society, nor a share in the success they see others enjoying, is something else entirely. All this, while new emerging and highly profitable industries suffer severe labour shortages due to lack of forethought and planning.  
 
Technosocialism is not something new, but it is largely a governance philosophy driven by the people, for the people empowered by incredible advances in technology. Maybe it is better to describe it as by the crowd, for the crowd in the cloud. An improved focus on humanity as a whole and both policy and technology that seeks to ensure the collective, basic needs of our communities, will be emphasized for greater societal cohesion and improved action against uncertainty. If socialism is characterized by greater collective rights, and technology allows us to provide those broad rights at a much lower political and economic cost, big government and shared ownership are no longer necessarily wasteful or expensive. 
 
In this book we look at a range of possible outcomes, but as a Futurist and an Economist we are most concerned about the adaptability of our social, political and economic models to a future fast bearing down upon us.  
 
History teaches us that this future is largely inevitable, and that we are, on the whole, woefully unprepared. Why inevitable? Because we’ve spent the last 100 years creating, empowering and incentivizing the machinery and the systems that have birthed uncertainty and inequality. Our short-term focus on GDP, jobs, quarterly results and election cycles accentuates our inability to properly plan more than a few years out and leads to us kicking the can down the road far too often. This myopic short-termism is only getting worse, with greater dysfunction to come if collectively we don’t respond adequately. Humans must shift to longer-term planning and broader economic participation if we are to survive as a species.
 
This book is about facing the harsh realities of our future. Understanding the evolution of the social movements we see today and how they will unfold, and having real, grownup policy conversations that mitigate risks to our stability, freedoms and a healthy future.  
 
We hope The Rise of Technosocialism gets you thinking about you and your family’s future, and that of your community around you. As optimists, we hope you see that these changes don’t have to divide us, and that we can build a more prosperous and inclusive future for all.  
 
But first we need to get on the same page.  
 
Brett King     Richard Petty “The Futurist”    “The Economist”

Table of Contents

The book will be in four parts:
The Era of Trillionaires: Massive wealth in a world of scarcitySmart vs Dumb: Competing in the 21st CenturyUniversal Care: When it costs next to nothing to provide for citizensThe Rise of Techno-socialism: A new world where old philosophies go to die

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