Our world is changing. We are now at the cusp of the fourth industrial revolution, a new stage of global progress driven by exponential technological advancements. The revolution is shifting the way we live, work, and play. It is expanding our understanding of what is possible.
Artificial intelligence, mobile technologies, big data, the Internet of Things, mixed reality, and cyber-physical systems are all fundamentally reshaping society and the global economy. This brings many challenges and opportunities. The world can be more open, fairer, and more prosperous, but it could also become more unequal and exclusionary.
Throughout history, each age and every industrial revolution has generated new power structures, classes, and political thought. Given the state of politics today, we believe that there is an urgent need for a new politics in the context of the age of the fourth industrial revolution, that there is a need to transcend traditional political ideologies, and think beyond old ways.
What is the point of politics?
The purpose of politics is to enable the members of a society to collectively achieve important human goals they cannot otherwise achieve individually. Through negotiation, debate, legislation and other political structures, politics procures safety, order and general welfare within the state. The question of the precise ends of politics is one of the greatest, and most inconclusive, in philosophy, as manifested by the divisive, heated debates among political parties.
Politics is often involved in prescribing the rules that govern interhuman relationships. It determines laws regarding marriage, parenting, businesses and contracts. It creates laws regulating educational institutions and civil associations. Money always plays a big role in politics. Much time goes into deciding where public money will come from and how resources will be spent. (Source)
If the purpose of politics is to achieve societal goals and determine the rules we live by, how can politics be upgraded to improve our ability to decide the nature and extent of our laws and regulation? How can politics’ processes and institutions and actors be updated? And how can politics be made fit for the world we’re in today?
Why do we need a new politics?
There is an ideas-gap in the age of fourth industrial revolution
Since the global financial crisis that began in 2007 we have seen the rise of populism, far-right movements across Europe, extremism and terrorism, hard-man Presidencies in Asia, and anti-Islamic and anti-immigrant rhetoric across the Western world. The last decade has seen a return to old ideas, rather than a wholesale rethink of what politics can offer and how it can adapt to the modern world. It is our belief that there is an ideas-gap to fill. The work of Plato, Marx, Burke, Hayek, Weber, Hegel, Gramsci, Hume, and Friedman are seminal because they reimagined how politics could adapt to changing economies. What must politics do to adapt today?
Power is shifting
There is a new section of power concentrated, for example, in monolithic technology companies and leaders, disrupting age-old industries. Brexit, in part, showed how in Europe many people felt dislodged from the gains of current political socioeconomic models, that power was concentrated elsewhere.
Technology is fundamentally reshaping the way we live, work, and play
Technologies — whether they be digital, bio, or nano — are dramatically affecting our lives.We live longer due to advancements in health technologies; we can communicate with anyone in the world instantly; the cost of travelling the world has gone down; robots are taking over jobs previously held by humans; VR is creating new worlds for humans to exist in. What do political systems need to do to respond, and how can tech innovations be used to improve political engagement, processes, and structures?
Democracy in need of improvement?
Democracy in its current form isn’t working for all. Many do not feel represented and democratically elected politicians are ironically unpopular. We have low democratic participation and there is an underrepresentation of women, ethnic minorities, and other disadvantaged groups in positions of power.
Public debate based on untruths
The quality of debate in politics often depends on what the most powerful voices say. But, there are many influential figures who do not speak to evidence or facts. There is a need to educate people and inform them of research, evidence, and facts, in order to keep influential people accountable.
The labour market is changing and new social classes are emerging
Global competition, the growth of workers in the gig economy, the rise of robotisation, capital replacing labour, and the need for new skills — the fourth industrial revolution is fundamentally reshaping the economy and the labour market. There is a growing precariat whose experience of the labour market is unstable and low-paid. There are millions of people who do not have access to the internet, the disconnected. How can a new politics respond to challenges these new groups face and to the changing labour market?
Globalization has created a borderless society divided by nation states
People are more connected than ever before: We can tweet a message to thousands of people and communicate with our family and friends all over the world over a live video call. What opportunities does this give us to bring people together in unity rather than division?
We live in an world where information is available in abundance. It has been said that the shopkeeper now has access to more information and data accessed through a phone than previous US Presidents had only a few decades ago. How can this be utilised to educate and inform people in their political choices in a neutral and unbiased manner, rather than drown people in white noise?
People are frustrated by the lack of progress
Many people are poor, inequality is rising, there are many who are social immobile — no matter who is in power, for some nothing changes.
Why do we need a new group?
- There is an absence of a global and diverse group of people focused on creating a new politics in response to the technological changes bequested upon us.
- There is space for bringing together the world of politics and the world of technology.
- Political institutions and organisations have not figured out how best to thrive in the global and digital world.
- In the past, theories and ideas of political systems and social organisation have been written by a person, a small group of people, or the elite. We want to create a new politics, together.
- There is a need to reimagine politics.
- A new politics cannot come from the current establishment. We need an external, super partes movement, to determine a new politics in the context of the fourth industrial revolution.
- There is an appetite for something different.
- We believe that we are about to see the advent of a new politics.
That’s why we’re working together to create a new politics.
That’s why we’re a part of the Fourth Group.