Friday, March 19, 2010

The Future of Industrial Man, Chapter 5 (pt 2)

Doubts and questions. Is Second Life a free and open society? Does it reward individuals according to their industrial skill, their ability to work with network software? It seems to do so. Capital accumulation doesn’t help you. Neither does social capital, at least to a certain extent. Yet, it does so by surpressing the world that exists outside the virtual society, by claiming that it is secondary to Second Life.

In this chapter, Drucker argues that the factory was the model for totalitarian society and that totalitarian dictators were able to build big industrial societies by surpressing the influence of wealth and social heritage. They were only able to do this through a policy of constant warfare . If we try to extend that argument to the Internet or to Second Life, we see that while it is possible to extend the values of the internet into the greater society but that such an extension does not antidote the power of money or social status. Both retain substantial power and cannot be dethroned easily. I don’t know if war would allow us to surpress the power of wealth and status. But what would physical isolation do to them? If we could no longer travel, or if we could not travel beyond our immediate neighborhood, would internet society become global society?

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