The answer lies in civil society

The following is an excerpt from “The Rise of Anti-Capitalism”, an article by Jeremy Rifkin, published by The New York Times on 15 March 2014. The original article can be found here.

How will this economy of the future function when millions of people can make and share goods and services nearly free? The answer lies in the civil society, which consists of nonprofit organizations that attend to the things in life we make and share as a community. In dollar terms, the world of nonprofits is a powerful force. […]

What makes the social commons more relevant today is that we are constructing an Internet of Things infrastructure that optimizes collaboration, universal access and inclusion, all of which are critical to the creation of social capital and the ushering in of a sharing economy. The Internet of Things is a game-changing platform that enables an emerging collaborative commons to flourish alongside the capitalist market. This collaborative rather than capitalistic approach is about shared access rather than private ownership. […]

Nowhere is the zero marginal cost phenomenon having more impact than the labor market, where workerless factories and offices, virtual retailing and automated logistics and transport networks are becoming more prevalent. Not surprisingly, the new employment opportunities lie in the collaborative commons in fields that tend to be nonprofit and strengthen social infrastructure — education, health care, aiding the poor, environmental restoration, child care and care for the elderly, the promotion of the arts and recreation. […]

Many economists argue that the nonprofit sector is not a self-sufficient economic force but rather a parasite, dependent on government entitlements and private philanthropy. Quite the contrary.


Continue reading here. WINGS is an independent global not-for-profit network that brings together associations and support organizations serving philanthropy in more than 50 countries around the world. Together WINGS members represent more than 20,000 grantmakers and social investors worldwide.

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