Over the past weekend I’ve been reading a very famous popular book by Peter Drucker “Post-Capitalist Society,” which he had produced in 1993. Dr. Drucker is obviously a fan of capitalism, but he also approaches it from a free-market and academic displacement simultaneously. As much as I am bothered by his comments on “post capitalism” and want very much to disagree with his conclusions in this work, he does bring up a number of good points. Okay so let’s talk about this for second shall we?
Dr. Drucker tells us of a time period when capitalism attained its capital “C” as it was not just an economic term, but also a socio-economic term. It was indeed a noun as well is a verb. Currently, I would say that we have a severe challenge in Washington DC with negative connotations which go along with the word capitalism, and it is by far a travesty considering all we are and all that we have built. There are many in Washington DC now, generally left-leaning socialist, or Democrats who refuse to capitalize the word capitalism in our nation’s capital.
It’s as if they do not feel the word is honorable any longer, and purposely go out of their way to show their discontent. In many regards one could say that it proves that the United States has lost her way, and is following the European Union, South America, and other faltered socialist economies into the abyss. Remember, those folks in Washington DC do dictate quite a bit of policy, and create the rules and regulations on business. Indeed, they also make laws that include the social welfare of our society, which makes it even more alarming.
The word capitalism has been capitalized for well over 100 years. To degrade the word, or call it evil in the midst of class warfare with the intention of dividing the people of this great nation does a disservice to our nation’s history, and our forward progression. I often find it interesting that those who are socialist leaning call themselves progressives, when socialism is indeed regressive in every regard. It hasn’t actually worked anywhere it’s ever been tried.
In this work Peter Drucker insists that in the future we will have a knowledge-based economy, where knowledge is more important skill, and yet, I tend to disagree with at least half of his comments because it is those that “do” and their causation which is bringing forth increased productivity by doing, not those who sit around thinking and analyzing what was done the prior. One can sit around and talk about how things should be in a perfect utopian world, but it will surely take a capitalist, or an entrepreneurial capitalist who will make it happen.
Further, to allow socialist intellectual thinkers – self-proclaimed in my opinion because I believe that to be an oxymoron – to dictate policy and destroy our money system in trade for this futuristic economy based on knowledge alone is laughable. We already have found that knowledge is readily accessible, and relatively free. Unless all the knowledge of the world is collected in one place and walled off from society where only a few people possess the knowledge therefore can control the economy, then all the knowledge will be owned by all the people.
In this regard, all it does is level the playing field and make knowledge absolutely worthless, rather merely a baseline, which actually isn’t so bad. If everyone has access to the same knowledge, then how can we build an economic structure upon it? Many have stated that the United States needs knowledge workers, and we need to be the creators, innovators, and designers of tomorrow’s future. In other words, we will design and create everything, and it will be manufactured in places with abundant labor.
That will not happen, because if knowledge is available everywhere, whether it is stolen by intellectual property theft, or specifically taught to other nations for reasons of liberty and freedom, it will still be universally known, and therefore there will be no advantage to the United States or the Western world. In other words, it is quite possible that a knowledge-based economy cannot exist with free and fair trade, or with knowledge being distributed on the Internet worldwide as it is today.
Further, other nations do not need abundant labor to produce and manufacture anything, because the next generation of robots will be doing all the work. In fact, we will soon learn that we have far too many people on the planet who are not actually needed for anything, other than to consume, but are of no value in a knowledge-based economy because their skill is no longer needed, and their knowledge is already known – while robots can do the rest.
A utopian civilization or global economy based on knowledge, will not work – it’s not that it can’t work, it’s that we’d have to destroy everything to make it work and create a new class-system with similar if not even more problems in the process, without knowing the end results therefore;
Peter Drucker is wrong!
It’s nice that Dr. Drucker has produced this book, and it was interesting from an intellectual standpoint in reading, although it was written in 1993, not claiming to be a prediction the future, but rather a warning of what was, and what was to come. Apparently, he got it wrong. That’s okay, it’s still worth reading, and I would recommend it to anyone in that regard. They say knowledge is power, but if everyone has the same knowledge, then everyone has the power, and therefore there is no power at all.
This is much that can to the parent who tells their Son he is so very special, and then the parent tells the neighbor kid he is special, and then their son asks; “I thought you said I was special?” And the parent says; “you are special, and he is special, because everyone is special.” Then her son makes a statement of intellectual revelation; “if everyone is special, then nobody is.”
Likewise, if everyone has the same knowledge, then knowledge has no value. Interestingly enough, humans are putting all of their knowledge online, and making it available to the world. Even those who have specialized knowledge will find others with the same knowledge putting it online, even if they keep their own knowledge to themselves. Therefore their secret knowledge or skills that they possess are no longer secret at all, nor are they worth anything.
If we destroy our capitalist society, devalue our money, claim to be entering an era of post-capitalism, and then show up at the door with the theory that; knowledge is power – then indeed we will be both broke and powerless. That doesn’t sound like a very good plan to me. How about you? Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.