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Old 03-19-2009, 06:32 AM
SeC SeC is offline
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Wink What is technocapitalism ?

What is technocapitalism ?

Technocapitalism is a new form of market capitalism that is rooted in technological invention and innovation. It can be considered an emerging era, now in its early stage, that is supported by such intangibles as creativity and knowledge.

Intangibles are at the core of technocapitalism. Creativity and knowledge are to technocapitalism what tangible raw materials, factory labor and capital were to industrial capitalism. During industrial capitalism, tangible resources acquired the greatest value, as factory production, repetitive labor and massive output ruled the day. In the emerging technocapitalist era, however, those material resources are becoming secondary in importance.

Intangibles are therefore vital for technocapitalism. Creativity and knowledge are the most valuable resources of this emerging new era. They, for example, already account for as much as three-quarters of the value of most products and services in existence, and that proportion is bound to increase over time. In contrast, the material resources that were most valuable for industrial capitalism are losing value relative to those intangibles in most every product or service.

New economic activities are emerging that are representative of technocapitalism. Biotechnology, nanotechnology, bioinformatics, software design, genomics, molecular computing and biorobotics, for example, are likely to be hallmarks of the twenty-first century, as electronics and aerospace were in the twentieth. This new ecology of activities and sectors is more reliant on creativity and knowledge than any of the old industries of industrial capitalism.

The organizations that are typical of these new activities are research-intensive and highly dependent on new discoveries for their survival. Continuous or systematized invention and innovation are very much a part of their reality, and are vital for survival. Unlike the factories of industrial capitalism, where production was paramount and research was often a marginal endeavor, the organizations and firms typical of technocapitalism are, first and foremost, oriented toward research and discovery.

The old industries typical of industrial capitalism are also feeling the impact of this emerging era. The sort of continuous invention and innovation found in activities typical of technocapitalism are spreading to old sectors, such as automobile manufacturing, apparel and the mechanical industries. Service activities, including some of the most mundane ones, are also being affected. It seems that no economic sector or activity can be considered immune from the dynamics of the new order and its emphasis on novelty.

The various sections of this website will provide an overview of the phenomena that support the rise of technocapitalism. Many of those phenomena became obvious toward the end of the twentieth century, with the decay of longstanding economic and social structures that had previously been vital for industrial capitalism.

Two basic types of phenomena will be considered in the other sections of this website. One typology includes phenomena that have been mostly involved with long-term accumulation, and are therefore macro in their scope and dynamics. Those phenomena operate at the societal level, they are structural and are usually beyond the control of individuals and organizations.

A second typology will consider phenomena that involve diffusion and generation of knowledge and creativity, and usually have a micro scope. Those phenomena operate mostly at the level of organizations and individuals. They can therefore be affected by decisions and strategies taken by various entities, such as firms, institutions and groups of individuals.

Some of the effects and supportive elements of both the macro and micro phenomena will be given additional consideration. For example, the importance of continuous invention, innovative capacity and of networks for the activities that are typical of technocapitalism will be considered in separate sections. Similarly, the rising importance of a new type of organization, the experimental firm, found in the sectors that are typical of technocapitalism, will be discussed separately.
The intent of those components of this website will be to provide an overview of the phenomena supporting the emergence of technocapitalism, that is as comprehensive as current knowledge allows.

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