ICT and the digital revolution are allies of matriarchy

Surprisingly, we can find "matriarchist" sources of inspiration in the recent evolution of the information and communication technology (ICT) world. ICTs are the unexpected allies of a movement towards matriarchy. Because in addition to offering incomparable tools that will undoubtedly facilitate its implementation, they embody quite a few of its fundamental principles. Indeed, matriarchies are civilizations with sharing and altruism as ubiquitous vectors, two characteristics that the Internet also represents eloquently.

Consensus decision making

Decisions taken by consensus are a fundamental element of matriarchies. And the rules of consensual decision-making put forward nowadays by an organization like Wikipedia, for example1 , make this form of conflict resolution eminently credible. Not to mention that the enormous popularity of "Open Source" software, which followed the wave launched by Linux, is a beautiful representation of donarism, matriarchies' gift economy.

A new industrial revolution

This revolutionary wave catalyzed by ICTs and the internet is gradually spreading to other sectors of the economy. As a result, we are witnessing the emergence of a new industrial revolution2 . In line with what the software industry has presented over the last half-century, it gradually brings the manufacturing production organization closer to the communities.

The digital revolution (DR) is a paradigm that is emerging. One of the leaders of this vision is Jeremy Rifkin. He calls it the Third Industrial Revolution (TIR). According to this approach, the first two industrial revolutions reorganized our production modes by applying heavily hierarchical models. These have allowed organizations to take advantage of advances in energy sources and communication tools.

Industrial revolutions take advantage of energy sources and means of communication tandems

The first IR relied on coal and the steam engine, as well as on the printing press. We saw the emergence of multiple commercial and industrial enterprises of dimensions never seen before. Then the start of the second R.I. overlapped the climax of the first. At the same time, oil and electricity quickly replaced coal as the primary energy source. Together, the telephone, followed by radio and television, came to speed up and magnified communication possibilities. International joint-stock companies have emerged, further disrupting our societies' operation.

Three Industrial Revolutions En

Now is the time for local renewable energies, digital communications, and sharing networks

In recent decades, the advent of affordable computing tools has eventually led to the emergence of the open-source software world, where collaboration and sharing are fundamental. Similarly, the arrival of digital manufacturing tools, and local energy production at affordable prices, leads to the development of an Open Source Hardware world.

At the local energy production level using solar collectors, the cost-to-capacity followed a constant decline in the past decades. Not as strong, but still similar to what we have experienced with computers3 . The "Fab Lab" initiative, a network of digitized, all-purpose, community-based manufacturing labs launched by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the late 1990s, is one of the most accurate representations of the TIR forecast4 .

The end of our society’s hierarchical organization

However, our society’s hierarchical organization hampers the emergence of this new industrial revolution5 . On the one hand, a small group of people controls wealth and production means, which they have gradually concentrated in large organizations. On the other hand, this process has fragmented our community by individualizing and disseminating citizens as workers and consumers. As a result, social relations between members of our communities are virtually non-existent today.

Large matrilocal family clans’ networks

Instead, the digital revolution has to be able to count on a reliable network of access points. That will catalyze local energy generation and manufacturing resources to benefit small, interconnected groups of people. Matriarchy focuses on healthy and united matrilocal extended family clans' interactions. It will restore this community dynamic that promotes links between citizens. That will enable our countries to become the world leaders of this new industrial revolution.


1 « When there is no wide agreement, consensus-building involves adapting the proposal to bring in dissenters without losing those who accepted the initial proposal. »
Wikipedia:Consensus (visited June 28th 2018)
2 « The Third Industrial Revolution is the last of the great Industrial Revolutions and will lay the foundational infrastructure for an emerging collaborative age. The forty-year build-out of the TIR infrastructure will create hundreds of thousands of new businesses and hundreds of millions of new jobs. » (Introduction, p. 5)
Jeremy Rifkin, The Third Industrial Revolution : How Lateral Power Is Transforming Energy
Macmillan, 2011.
3 « ... solar energy costs have continued to come down precipitously for decades--without exception. And now the renewable energy industry is about to cross a major milestone that will truly set it on the path towards becoming the world’s predominant energy source.»
Alex Kimani, Renewables Are Set To Outprice Oil & Gas By 2020%%%Yahoo Finance, May 30th, 2019 (visited February 15th, 2020)
4 « Ever since their first inception in 2002, Fab Labs equipped with digitally controlled machines and made available to ordinary people.» (p. 3)
Peter Troxler, Making the 3rd Industrial Revolution
5 « To successfully develop the digital manufacturing ecosystem beyond a mere collection of individual tinkerers, a common understanding is needed of how such an ecosystem would function. Such a common understanding could build on a suitable theory. However, canonical knowledge in business administration, industrial engineering and organization science on ‘how to run a factory’ and the collective wisdom of practitioners and consultants alike will only tell us the old story of hierarchies. Their imagery of the centralized, rationalized bureaucracy is increasingly unable to capture the empirical world’ (Clemens 2005 : 352), and insight has to be found outside those disciplines. Indeed, there is a substantial body of knowledge about collective action, self-organization and inverse infrastructures, and about peer-production and governing the commons. One has to turn to organisation science, social movement theory and ethnography to learn about and understand communities and polycentric systems. » (p. 7-8)
Peter Troxler, Making the 3rd Industrial Revolution

Created by admin. Last Modification: Sunday November 7, 2021 08:48:27 EST by admin.