Culture

Capitalism is Dead! Long Live the Collaborative Commons

In surprising Talk @ Google Jeremy Rifkin outlines emerging new economic system

In surprising Talk @ Google Jeremy Rifkin outlines emerging new economic system “We are just beginning to glimpse the bare outlines of an emerging new economic system--the collaborative commons.” Jeremy Rifkin, the New York Times bestselling author of Zero Marginal Cost Societydiscusses the rapid changes we are seeing now and what this means for the future. If we get it right we will work less, have a higher quality of life and take power back from corporations. The keys are:

  • a free internet allowing peer to peer collaboration and the free flow of information
  • distributed, co-owned, renewable energy infrastructure - powering the economy
  • much cheaper logistics reducing the barriers to peer-to-peer trade enabled by new tech Illustrative image of people standing in arrow shape representing development and teamwork

“What's really interesting is the trigger that's giving birth to this new economic system. The trigger is something called zero marginal cost... Business people are all aware of marginal costs, most of the public isn't. But this idea of zero marginal cost is going to dramatically, intimately affect every single person in the world in the coming years in every aspect of their life.” “In a traditional market, sellers are always constantly probing for new technologies that can increase their productivity, reduce their marginal costs so they can put out cheaper products and win over consumers and market share and beat out their competitors and bring some profit back to investors. So business people are always looking for ways to increase productivity and reduce their marginal cost, they simply never expected in their wildest dreams that there would be a technology revolution so powerful in its productivity that it might reduce those margins of cost to near zero making goods and services essentially free, priceless and beyond the market exchange economy. That's now beginning to happen in the real world.” “We saw this zero marginal cost phenomenon invade the newspaper industry, the magazine industry, and book publishing... With the coming of the World Wide Web and the Internet all of a sudden millions of people, then hundreds of millions of people, and now 40 percent of the human race with very cheap cell phones and computers--they're sending audio, video and texting each other at near zero marginal cost... So what's happened is millions of consumers became ‘prosumers’ with the advent of the Internet. And so they're producing and sharing their own videos, their own news blogs, their own entertainment, their own knowledge with each other in these lateral networks at near zero marginal costs and essentially for free bypassing the capitalist market, in many instances altogether.” “We can go up on this Internet of Things now and we can take that big data flowing through the system from the devices all the way to these three Internets and any of us with our own apps and our own mobile technology will be able to use the big data and combine it with analytics to create our own algorithms just like the big guys at Google... And it won't be rocket science because those apps will be programmed for us. So we can create our own apps with our mobile technology, using that big data to dramatically increase our productivity, reduce our marginal cost in the production of physical things like energy and 3-D printed products. That's already begun.” “This is the first new economic paradigm to emerge on the world scene since the advent of capitalism and socialism in the early 19th century. So it's a remarkable historical event.”

Welcome to...The Zero Marginal Cost Society

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