For a decade, the US military-industrial consortium has been trying to develop a new type of economy based this time on surveillance and security. This development took place in several stages :
Operation Overlord (1944)
(Army + navy + aviation)
There were so many soldiers and apparatus of all kinds belonging to different nations that were heading towards the beaches of Normandy, that an effort to integrate three weapons took place (army + navy + aviation). New technologies at that time were radar, rockets, main-frames, cryptology and floating ports (Mulberry).
Operation Desert Storm (1990)
(Army + navy + aviation + space)
Again, millions of aircraft, belonging to several nations, sought to conquer Kuwait (in fact, its oil). Integration was now at four levels (army + navy + aviation + space). The new technologies of the day were satellites, laser, bombs and clean shells, vehicles and soldiers in networks and, above all, real-time decision-making from a war room (despite the need to span seven time zones.
The War on Terror (2001) and
The Second Gulf War, Iraq (2003)
(Police + army + navy + aviation + space + cyberspace)
This time, it was a war against a mysterious enemy installed all over the planet (If you are not with us, you are against us, Georges W. Bush). The first step was the internalization of the army via the Internet Battlefield with its Point, Click and Fire model created by Donald Rumsfeld. New technologies allowed control of the public dissemination of images, incorporation of journalists into the military, drones, use of laser, satellites and GPS.
As the enemy was and is everywhere, even in the United States (for example, American Muslim citizens automatically become suspects), the second step was civic espionage (from the Patriot Act, 2001), the creation of prisons with powers (Guantanamo), the installation of electronic barriers at borders and airports, and the development of wiretapping centers to identify opponents of authority (Prism). It was a system set up in the United States thanks to the media’s complicity in creating a climate of fear (Big Brother).
Now Americans are trading off their freedom against their security.
After September 11, the Bush administration outsourced its War on Terror to the Halliburton and Blackwater companies. Giant private consortia dedicated to surveillance and security now existed next to the army and develop a fuel-efficient system to monitor and preventive espionage. It is a cyberwar lobby dedicated to monitoring not only places and goods, but also ideas.
Henceforth, images and text messages become more dangerous than rifles.
It is becoming a system that allow the powers in place to react to all the possible shocks caused by the future crises that will increase : climatic, mass migrations, shortages of oil or water. It will be a situation of control where the military and private companies will work closely together. As an example, at one point in time in Iraq there were as many contractors of these companies as there were soldiers (160,000); Moreover, Iraq was the first laboratory of this new economic model.
It is Disaster Capitalism,
Naomi Klein in The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, see especially The Shock Doctrine.
Otherwise, we face the militarization of civil space,
Julian Assange, 2014.
The economy after 2020?
During the industrial age, our grandparents developed an economy of production. With the advent of a knowledge based-society, we are now dealing with an economy of attention (everything depends on the attention given by the consumer to this or that piece of networked information). With the new Internet, the Web and the new computers, we are going to experience an economy of expression.
This new economic model could develop thanks to the sharing of content between actors, which will require an even greater contribution of imagination on the part of citizens.
There is the possibility of great change on the horizon.
The neoliberal economic model
- The model uses a highly mediated logic of continuous expansion.
- Four economies co-exist : real, virtual, pirate and mafia.
- It is a model where health, education and culture become goods subject to the laws of the markets, hence to promoters and bankers.
- This model has not redistributed wealth equitably and damages many natural environments :