Like the human being that has evolved throughout history, thanks to the development of its tripartite brain (chapter 4), society evolves through the use of three structures that have also developed successively : the structures are political, economic and media-based.

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The political structure

The basic structure of political power is territory. This began to dominate societal organization about a thousand years ago, from the end of the Middle Ages. Since then the ruling classes have always reigned over physical territories.

Its three powers are legislative, executive and judiciary. This structure has five levers: monetary, fiscal, commercial, utility and income support policies. It is based on the consent of the population and seeks to rely on economic and media structures.

In theory, democracy should be a system in which citizens have a grip on and decision-making power about their collective well-being.

In fact, with the current transition (since 2000-2010) the reality of power has shifted to the masters of finance who control all territories via the economic globalization they have imposed on the whole planet.

Currently, the political elite is trying to preserve this system, to which the elite owes its many privileges, past and present. However, they are proposing only industrial-era solutions to crises that are post-industrial. Mainly the prosed solutions are only half-measures, designed to create the illusion that the problems will be solved.

Today by and large administrations no longer direct development, they only administer territory, obsessed by the results of polls. The perception of new needs has become so complex that addressing them requires a level of preparation and expertise that the current ruling class no longer possesses.

The economic structure

Its primary force and lever is capital. It was established around 1700, first in England and then in the rest of the industrialized world. Several major inventions and innovations transformed a society that was agrarian and artisanal into an industrial and commercial society:

  • First industrial revolution (from 1700):
    The steam engine (locomotives and steamships), gas and electricity lighting, mechanical looms (cotton), the ship’s chronometer (to develop commercial shipping routes), and so on.
  • Second industrial revolution (from 1900):
    Electric motors (electrification of factories), incandescent lamps, oil and plastic, automotive (the division of labor promoted by Taylorism and Fordism), and so on.

Currently, this structure has five characteristics:

  • private ownership of production and investment levers ;
  • private ownership of natural, material and information resources ;
  • competition from consortia ;
  • state dependence on capital ;
  • enslavement of the consumer through mass media.

Because economic globalization has made the boundaries of political structures far too porous, large corporations and banks now impose their decisions on political elites. By using mass media they have imposed in the minds of all citizens the idea that capitalism was the only economic model able to guide the planet’s progress.

Many believe they have become too large to fail. However, they experienced their Waterloo in 2008 and had to be helped by the political classes, and with the use of taxpayers’ money.

Today, it is not so much the market structure that must be replaced, It is the financialization of society’s activities that must be replaced. This financialization makes four different kinds of economies able to co-exist: real, virtual, pirate and mafia. We are just beginning to question this model.

Financialization is based on the dogma of the primacy of the individual, which is what enables mass media to atomize the social fabric into millions of isolated consumers.

Media-based structure

Its basis is the generation and circulation of information. It began to organize into the constellation we understand as today’s conditions some 40 years ago, with the emergence of the Internet and the Web. After a period of transition (2000-2010), the past’s industrial society is shifting towards becoming an entirely new form of society.

There has been a “rupture with the known past”, even though most people do not admit it.

This new structure is societal, and takes shape from and around the integration of mass media (cinema, radio and television) with electronic media via digital capabilities.

It will be a data-centric society
Pierre Lévy, 2013.

Since 2000, this structure has developed around Internet 2, which has added mobile devices (tablets and smart phones, readers such as Kindle). The Internet 2 is no longer a network of computer networks but has become THE communication platform for all citizens of the planet. It is becoming a space of opinion and influence where power will be negotiated :

For the first time in history, citizens can express themselves publicly in an area not controlled by political or economic power.

If Gutenberg has made us readers and Xerox publishers, the Internet will convert us into content creators and thus creators of opinions.

These three structures are now becoming worn out. Like the parts of a worn-out motor, they cannot cope with the high speed at which they are operated.

The tri-polar model

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According to Joseph E. Stiglitz the three pillars of a successful development strategy are the state, the markets and the individual (i.e. the political, economic and media structures) (2010):

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Other authors use different words to describe the same approach:

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Mutations

This new political-economic-media structure sets the stage for many changes:

Mutations of the basic elements used for development :

political structure : citizens’ rights
economic structure : markets
media structure : information

Appearance of new tools capable of managing mutations :

political structure : citizens’ voices
economic structure : model of proximity
media structure : planetary public plaza.

The battles that are beginning (figure 2) :

political structure : culture and language
economic structure : territories and markets
media structure : credibility of content.