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Knowledge Society

 

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Post-Capitalist Society

Amazon link: Post-Capitalist Society

The following is from Post-Capitalist Society

The same forces which destroyed Marxism as an ideology and Communism as a social system are, however, also making Capitalism obsolescent.

For two hundred and fifty years, from the second half of the eighteenth century on, Capitalism was the dominant social reality.

For the last hundred years, Marxism was the dominant social ideology.

Both are rapidly being superseded by a new and very different society.


The new society—and it is already here—is a post-capitalist society.

This new society surely, to say it again, will use the free market as the one proven mechanism of economic integration.

It will not be an “anti-capitalist society.”

It will not even be a “non-capitalist society”; the institutions of Capitalism will survive, although some, such as banks, may play quite different roles.

But the center of gravity in the post-capitalist society—its structure, its social and economic dynamics, its social classes, and its social problems—is different from the one that dominated the last two hundred and fifty years and defined the issues around which political parties, social groups, social value systems, and personal and political commitments crystallized.


The basic economic resource—“the means of production,” to use the economist’s term—is no longer capital, nor natural resources (the economist’s “land”), nor “labor.”

It is and will be knowledge.

The central wealth-creating activities will be neither the allocation of capital to productive uses, nor “labor”—the two poles of nineteenth- and twentieth-century economic theory, whether classical, Marxist, Keynesian, or neo-classical.

Value is now created by “productivity” and “innovation,” both applications of knowledge to work.

The leading social groups of the knowledge society will be “knowledge workers”—knowledge executives who know how to allocate knowledge to productive use just as the capitalists knew how to allocate capital to productive use; knowledge professionals; knowledge employees.

Practically all these knowledge people will be employed in organizations.

Yet, unlike the employees under Capitalism, they will own both the “means of production” and the “tools of production”—the former through their pension funds, which are rapidly emerging in all developed countries as the only real owners; the latter because knowledge workers own their knowledge and can take it with them wherever they go.

The economic challenge of the post-capitalist society will therefore be the productivity of knowledge work and the knowledge worker.


The social challenge of the post-capitalist society will, however, be the dignity of the second class in post-capitalist society: the service workers.

Service workers, as a rule, lack the necessary education to be knowledge workers.

And in every country, even the most highly advanced one, they will constitute a majority.


The post-capitalist society will be divided by a new dichotomy of values and of aesthetic perceptions.

It will not be the “Two Cultures”—literary and scientific—of which the English novelist, scientist, and government administrator C. P. Snow wrote in his The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution (1959), though that split is real enough.

The dichotomy will be between “intellectuals” and “managers,” the former concerned with words and ideas, the latter with people and work.

To transcend this dichotomy in a new synthesis will be a central philosophical and educational challenge for the post-capitalist society.


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“The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not turbulence; it is to act with yesterday’s logic”. — Peter Drucker


The shift from manual workers who do as they are being told — either by the task or by the boss — to knowledge workers who have to manage themselves ↓ profoundly challenges social structure

Managing Oneself is a REVOLUTION in human affairs.” … “It also requires an almost 180-degree change in the knowledge workers’ thoughts and actions from what most of us—even of the younger generation—still take for granted as the way to think and the way to act.” …

… “Managing Oneself is based on the very opposite realities: Workers are likely to outlive organizations (and therefore, employers can’t be depended on for designing your life), and the knowledge worker has mobility.” ← in a context

 

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