Preface by Sam pitroda (to be confirmed)








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titrePreface by Sam pitroda (to be confirmed)
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No, this is not a change of the dominant empire. The crisis is deeper.


Obviously, no one knows how this transition will occur. Personally, I believe that we are not dealing simply with the “decline of the West“ as many authors suggest. Instead, we are confronting a deeper change where all political powers will switch places on the chessboard and where the Western position also will probably change, but always with this new threat of collective death in the background.

As I showed in Part One, we are now confronted with a danger of collective death as well as the death of patriarchy, of modernity, of the industrial society, of all pyramidal structures, and finally the death of State hegemony. Thus, we no longer are in the dynamic of a simplistic scenario wherein one empire ends and other empires rise to take its place—like China or India, for example. Such a scenario would still be a “modern” scheme.

For us, the entire problem has changed. Yes, we will see the end of Western hegemony, but it probably will probably not surrender its hegemony to a new world power. We could assist the rise of networks of States—some networks, like the EU, are non-violent; other networks could be more violent and some, extremely violent. But all networks will be confronted with the new and formidable danger that threatens our survival and that of our children. This danger is generating an unprecedented mutation in the history of humankind.

It is as if history is forcing humankind to change the very level of its conversation. The purpose of Figure 1 is to illustrate our ”situation on the map of history.” Thus, its goal is more pedagogic than scientific.

The explosions shown in Figure 1 represent the transition periods. Reform and Renaissance for the first, the crossing point between modern and transmodern societies for the second—that is, ours. We are already at that second crossing point, as I will show later in this section. The regions in which the curves cross always represent the death of the power of the dominating system which suddenly is marginalised and the birth of the power of a new system—a rising curve.

But for us, this crossing is more complicated. Indeed, “our” explosion takes place at the end of the patriarchy curve, which began when the agrarian era superseded herding, hunting, and gathering. If patriarchy dies at the same time as the industrial and modern era, it is perhaps because the latter two were expressions of the former? This is indeed my hypothesis in Part One of this book.

After the area of the second explosion, we see only one new curve, because the knowledge society is, by definition, a post-patriarchal society, where men and women must invent a different manner to manage their relationship. But the industrial curve does not end abruptly, symbolizing marginalised industrialists who still do not understand the change and maintain a patriarchal perspective even as they are marginalised.

The downward slope of the industrial curve near its end expresses the idea that the industrial society is dying or dead, resulting in the diffuse sense of death in our Western societies. But at the same time, it symbolises also the collective death of humankind, if we keep on maintaining an unsustainable industrial development and growth policy.
      1. The last curve—the transmodern knowledge society


The last (rightmost) curve represents the subject of Part Two of this book—the transmodern knowledge society. This new society, already born and growing, is usually not seen in the media because nobody talks about it. But its invisibility is mainly due to the fact that the eyeglasses of the media remain modern, industrial, and patriarchal. They are still looking for the old industrial curve so that they do not even see the new one. Sometimes, they come across businesses or civil society groups that are already in the new movement, but they do not recognise them as such because they do not have the correct eyeglasses.

This knowledge society, I will show, is altogether post-patriarchal, transmodern or planetary, and post-industrial. It is centred on a knowledge economy, and it structures itself in networks rather than pyramids. It proposes a new political paradigm—networks of States tied together by treaties of absolute non-violence between them.
      1. The horizontal arrow—businesses jumping toward the new society


In Figure 1, I show a horizontal arrow that represents those elements of the business world and NGOs that have foreseen the transition and are already moving toward it. The arrow points directly from the “modern industrial” curve to the “transmodern knowledge society” and bypasses some of the explosion. For example, IBM recently decided to give to the public more than 500 software patents in order to opt for what they are calling “collaborative innovation.” This is a jump to the knowledge-economy logic. Companies like Microsoft, on the other hand, have not made the jump. As a special edition of Newsweek32 noted in 2006, “This [debate on ‘open source’ or not] is the religious war that is going to dominate the tech world for the next couple of years, if not longer.” Some businesses, like Microsoft, are more inclined to keep the industrial logic of patenting, controlling, and not sharing. From this point of view, they are still on the industrial curve. IBM’s move seems to indicate that it is jumping directly to the new, knowledge-society curve full speed.

It will be very interesting to see how things evolve.

Beyond IBM, however, the business world in general is moving toward the new curve. Many consultants around the world are actively busy in this transition management toward the knowledge society. And those companies are represented by the horizontal arrow in Figure 1. Currently, about 10–20% businesses are entirely in the knowledge society. They are those that have understood the new vision and enacted the management change are represented by the rightmost curve on the figure (the knowledge society). They already are in the new world, but the media rarely speak to or about them, even though they are ones creating employment.

We do not yet see an equivalent horizontal movement in politics or in civil society. Certainly, there are some important people here and there or small groups that try to change politics—but not many. The green movements in Europe have tried to change politics, but they too operate in the modern mindset, which implies that they do not really understand or are able to implement the paradigm shift.

And yet statistics show that hundreds of millions of people around the world are in the process of deeply changing their values. This brings us to what I call the “five levels of rebirth.”
      1. The five levels of rebirth


Figure 1 mirrors the levels shown in Figure 1 to provides a description of the ongoing mutation that I have briefly alluded to above. In this figure, the five levels of death described in Part One are transformed into “five levels of rebirth.”



Figure 1: The five levels of rebirth in the knowledge society

This time, we shall view the iceberg from the top down.

On Level 5, we see the visible changes to the political and economic landscape is. Indeed, my hypothesis for Part Two of this book is that the new “knowledge society” is already here but that we do not see it as a new society; therefore, we do not employ its tools and concepts to help ourselves. We already have the political and economic structures that will allow us to tackle the challenges of the 21st century. The knowledge society and its political correspondent, the transmodern structures of non-violence between States, of which the European Union is the first prototype, has already been functioning for fifty years. But we are unaware of the great innovative character of these structures. Thus, the emerged, visible part of the iceberg already contains the structures of tomorrow, but we do not see them.

It is on Level 4 that an important part of the knowledge society still remains invisible. What is invisible is the radically novel character of the new society. This novelty is yet invisible because people fail to see the post-industrial and post-capitalist character of this knowledge society. To do so requires a totally new vision of politics and the economy. The world’s citizens do not see it simply because nobody talks about it—neither in the media nor in the political or economic circles. It is simply too new and its rise is too rapid (see Chapters 7 and 8).

Level 3 represents the idea that the knowledge society not centred on rationality—and on the left side of the brain. It is no longer a “modern” society, even though many of its actors actually try to make it function according to modern schemes and industrial economic standards, because in order to produce knowledge, one needs creative individuals who are well connected in energy-creating networks. Thus, the knowledge society, which creates meaningful knowledge will tend to graft itself naturally to a positive vision of the future and, thus, to a transmodern (and planetary) vision that keeps in sight the future of humankind and focuses its energy on this new and open horizon (see Chapter 9). Thus, the knowledge society is not at all “modern,” which renders it even more mysterious, interesting and attractive, but rather impenetrable for some.

Level 2 represents the fact that this knowledge society cannot function in a martial and patriarchal environment. It needs a non-violent environment and approach, even a non-violent energy, which can facilitate and enable networks of exchanges and interactions. This sort of novel thinking (and climate) is already apparent in some businesses that work very well in the knowledge production. In later chapters, I shall show that this new knowledge society is also rediscovering an ancient sacred thing that has been buried in our collective subconscious for thousand of years—the sacred way of reconnecting to the cosmos and to nature, of which we are an active part. This new vision of a “horizontal” sacred way of reconnection might offer a new global meaning for artistic and cultural creation, but also for intellectual and scientific creation, in interaction with art and culture (see Chapter 10).

Finally, Level 1 illustrates that this knowledge society favours life-affirming values—in particular with regard to its responsibilities toward the future and the new generations. This society gives itself a new global meaning and categorically refuses the impulse of death, which is presently so strong everywhere, especially in the West. By doing so, it responds to the hidden desires of hundred millions of citizens around the world who feel their values quietly changing (see Chapter 11).
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