Friday, March 05, 2010

"Do You Remember Peace?" Introduction, pt. 4, 387 words

Post-war. Post-scarcity. Post-agriculture. Post-industry. Perhaps even post-human, as the potentials of our technology and understanding continue to unfold. Post-everything.

Comparisons to the rise of the Internet and the Information Age are inevitable, when it comes to understanding the advent of minifacture and the Post in a historical perspective. We can see, from the lofty perch afforded us by a mere two centuries, when the Post began and what it did to human life worldwide. At the same time, those present for the founding of the Post were turning their critical eye upon the founding of the Information Age, picking it apart in similar manner, studying its every intricacy.

There is a saying. “Human behavior is economic behavior.” It summarizes the essential basis of most of the major political and economic theories of the Industrial and Atomic Ages. From Marxism to Objectivism, and every descendant theory that sprung up after them, the zeitgeist of the last few centuries before the Post was determined increasingly by the competition of different theories of how people should order themselves economically. Government power on all sides of the divide waxed mighty from the argument, and the lengths to which each side was prepared to go in protecting and propagating their view. And so, this saying held true, to the extent that people allowed these theories to hold sway over and shape their governments, politics, worldviews – and, yes, their economic habits. There was even a religious movement known as the “prosperity gospel” which promised God's favor in the form of material wealth in exchange for donations to the churches which preached such gospel.

So, in light of economic behavior may we best compare and contrast the rise of the Information Age and the Post, to achieve a greater understanding of each. These two eras changed both the economic and ideological landscapes of humanity drastically, in relatively short periods of time.

The development of the Internet was, in its way, a natural consequence of the increasing globalization of the time, as well as a contributor. The Internet and globalization fed into one another. Previously, globalization had primarily been a force at work at higher levels than the common person, where more large corporations went multinational and could act on a worldwide scale, gaining influence over politics due to their overshadowing presence.

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