Sunday, January 20, 2008

Humongous Misconceptions about the Future Economy

It is widely agreed by the progressive global community that knowledge is the key to market participation, one can not participate in the market unless one brings something to market. There are however some people who have the view that knowledge will replace manufacturing, agriculture and all the menial jobs, these menial jobs will be for the unfortunate lot and societies of the world.

These people wrongly believe that some societies can get rid of manufacturing, agriculture and concentrate on the work of generating ideas, more exciting than being a factory worker or a laborer. The misconception is the believe that some societies will be the thinkers whilst others the followers, this can not be so in the future, one is only fooling themselves into believing that somehow they are superior. What is superior is a system that a society follows not so much the human being. African countries have adopted bad systems, albeit as a result of the colonial past, they misunderstood capitalism for colonialism, the two concepts are very different, it was just a coincidence that they went hand in hand. Slavery was confused with capitalism, not true, capitalism by its nature requires non slavery because it defines the market participation of all in order to be at the highest possible competitive level. Slavery exists because people want things for free and do not want to do the boring back breaking jobs. In order not to do these boring jobs slavery is introduced and a slave is not allowed by legal means to fully participate in the economy, that is not the free market, and for the same reason colonialism is not capitalism.

Knowledge has always been key to human progress, those who do not understand knowledge, believe that a society to remain strong can actually do away with boring manufacturing and the such and still thrive by generating ideas for the manufacturing societies. For example these people believe that boring manufacturing jobs can be exported to say China, and in the corporate headquarters in the West people will be generating ideas and improving the products that will be manufactured by the said Chinese. Such a belief is flawed, it assumes that the Chinese can not think, that the Chinese can not generate their own ideas and improve products they manufacture. They will just sit and wait upon the West to generate the creativity, foolish thinking at best, down right bad prejudice at worst and therefore clouding reality.

One is creative in order to create a product, that the future world will be closer there is no doubt, without doubt the ideology of a ‘one’ world is winning, is this a bad thing, not if done properly, humans are recognizing that we are all humans and the ideology of who is superior is being understood and in general it is the system that one follows that creates a superior society not the genetic composition of the human, allow people to gather knowledge and a society will be materially better of in the long run, and most important it will be sustainable for long periods of time.

Though we are moving closer to a ‘one’ world concept, it would be foolish to assume that a knowledge economy means getting rid of manufacturing and the boring jobs. If one assumes that the future for example means every American or Canadian involved in creativity and the rest of the world following they are sadly mistaken. Firstly, every society in the right circumstances has the potential to generate knowledge, if and only if they desire. Secondly the misconception of this ‘one’ world is assigning races duties, this race shall be the thinkers, this race the manufacturers, this one providing raw materials, this is the mistake. Nobody will in the long run accept such a model, that model only works inside a society where a society controls, for example a society can have slaves and bar them from competing in the economy, but a free society for example will not accept that.

For a society to survive it must understand that though knowledge is the most powerful resource, it also is the easiest to disburse. It is distributed in text books, journals, microchips, unlike say oil that is found in certain areas. There is no oil in France, that is that, there is oil in Iran, Saudi Arabia, the oil has to be transported from Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq to France, France will never have oil. But France can have knowledge, but then Saudi Arabia can also have knowledge. That is the vital difference with knowledge. One will have to physically suppress Saudi Arabia to stop it having knowledge, because knowledge comes mostly from the mind, whilst a commodity like oil, gold, platinum, iron, they come from the ground, if they are not present in a society, a society can never have them.

Therefore those who claim their future role is to be the creative, intellectual peoples of the world they are greatly deceiving themselves and for the sake of a better world they need to stop that, manufacturing jobs are boring but the best from all societies will be involved in the knowledge creation process. All large societies need a manufacturing base, in the future as knowledge will be more and more accepted by the entire world, the humungous mistake that some intellectuals are making based on some fantasy need to understand that all large societies will need a manufacturing base, people need to be employed, it is as simple as that. Who in the 1980’s would have believed that Hyundai would be creating such great cars.

All progressive societies understand that to survive in this world of competition the knowledge base must be constantly improved upon as this eventually turns out in the products. That is why there is the new profession of knowledge transfer, to find ways to speed up the conversion of research into something useful for a society for the local manufactures at the least. The ‘one world’ ideology of course is triumphing because of the enormous benefits that have been associated with global trade and the lifting of hundreds of millions out of poverty. Without global trade this ideology nonetheless would have failed. It will fail if people do not understand that they need a manufacturing base, knowledge is manufacturing, knowledge is agriculture, knowledge is not just creativity and ideas, understand that and a society will not sink under brutal serfdom and feudalism, slowly being introduced to protect some in most parts of the world, even where it would not have been expected.

Bhekuzulu Khumalo

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Bhekuzulu Khumalo

I write about knowledge economics, information, liberty, and freedom