Those are very important and very difficult questions! Perhaps let’s start with the past cold war. There we had a conflict between the nations around the USA and the nations clustering around the USSR. A relatively old idea (capitalism) seemed to fight against an uprising competitor (socialism which should lead to communism). It ended with the competitor not winning, but breaking apart, because it relied too much on central planning instead of trying to work with a system that is appropriate to human needs and interests. These same errors will also be the death sentence for the conventional capitalism that we are living in right now. It relies too much on central (company internal) planning and is inappropriate to human needs and interests.
So, conventional capitalism will be challenged again, but by whom? If it can reform or even transform itself, it wouldn’t need to break apart catastrophically. But even in reform mode there would be some countries who go the reform course and some who stay conservative (and thus lose out eventually, if not after the first fights).
What is the challenger called? Socialism? No, we already had that as label that didn’t win out. Socialism 2.0? Not much better. Anyway, the name may still be open, so let’s call the competitor simply X. How will X operate?
- X will implement at least one basic income to satisfy basic human needs.
- X will use markets, because markets are good at satisfying some, but not all, human interests.
- X will use a reputation economy, because a reputation economy makes sense where markets are inappropriate
- X will eschew central planning in favour of decentralized structures, stigmergy, advice processes, self-management, and networks of collaborators. All of which allow humans to fulfil their needs better and thus to flourish and work much more effectively.
- The form of government of X is less clear than its mode of economic operation. It could operate with a kind of direct democracy, or anarchism, or even some despotism for emergency modes (like the early Roman Empire), or something radically new. It probably will have less bureaucratic structures, because these are inefficient.
The struggle between conventional capitalism and X will last for decades, but X will prevail in some regions at first and eventually the countries supporting conventional capitalism will degenerate so much that won’t be able to sustain their usual mode of operations. They either adapt or become the equivalent of third world nations.
Who will be the first to adopt X?
- The Nordic countries
- Virtual nations
- Some micronations perhaps
- Perhaps some parts of Asia
- Maybe Canada and then the USA
- Rather unlikely but perhaps Russia and China when their population is really really fed up with how these countries govern themselves
- Possibly even some African countries
- Some super forward looking individuals and organizations – the fault lines don’t have to cleanly go through nation borders