The title of a song that Rolling Stone called:-
The greatest protest song by the greatest protest songwriter of his time:
Written by Bob Dylan in 1963, he once introduced this song by saying,
“hard rain meant something big was about to happen”.
He was right……just a few decades early.
In this Topic I will argue that the confluence of circumstances and the latest communication tools; will accelerate the unstoppable change to the way we organise ourselves
I would argue that the driver for change, since the dawn of civilisation, has been the changes in our methods of Communication. Kevin Kelly wrote in 1999 Communication IS the economy.
I believe it is more, Communication IS Society
Human civilisation has had two distinct types of organisation to date and is in the process of transitioning to the third. The first two were driven by Oral and the Written word. The third is driven by the Digital Revolution
The first age: The Age of Tribes
Tribal Organisations were defined by Oral communications. The oldest Tribe is believed to be the San people some 140,000 years old. Tribal organisations reached the peak of their influence IMO, with Genghis Khan and the Mongol empire in some 600 years ago. Some more information was added in replies
The second age: The Age of Hierarchy
Evidence of the written word is some 5000 years old and provided the tool to change organisations. Over thousands of years they evolved to replace Tribes as the dominant organisation type:
Democratic Institutions through Royalty to Dictatorships. Typified by a combination of Inheritance, Status and Bureaucracy I argue they reached their zenith at the outset of World War 1. If you want one book to summarise the senseless slaughter of the “Great War” read: Gallipoli
Three members of my family served in the Great War:
My Great Uncle; Jack Joyce, lies buried in the Green Hill Cemetery far away, in Gallipoli. His older Brother: Tom, who served in the Coldstream Guards, lies in the Fields of Flanders I knew the third brother; Uncle Mick who survived the horror, although gassed in Flanders and invalided out.
I visited The Guards HQ; Wellington Barracks, a few years back having visited Toms’ grave in Belgium. During the visit I noticed other graves of 8 of his fellow Guardsmen, killed on the same day.
What story lay behind this loss of life?
I explained this to the NCO, who welcomed me when I outlined my request, with the words “No problem Sir, part of the family” He came back with the original war diary for 1st Battalion.
The Coldstreamers had been one of the first regiments to be dispatched and the the 1st Battalion had been virtually annihilated in 1914. The Folio sized red leather covered book had a 1 inch row to summarise the events of the day. Tom was killed on 11th May 1916 when the front was relatively quiet. (The Somme would start in just under two months)
I opened the book and started to turn the pages from early May and quickly realised his Company were working a 4 day on, 4 day off shift pattern. On 10th they entrained for their off shift. A time for rest and relaxation, you might think.
I turn the page to 11th May to read the words of the Battalion Adjutant written in fading pencil. "2nd COY of 1st BTN, OC (Officer Commanding) parade. Shell lands and kills 10. How unfortunate"
How Unfortunate!! No, you donkey, for whatever reason, you did not move the Rest camp out of the range of the German guns and as a result 9 men lost their life.… Were my thoughts, a 100 years after the events described. Trying to imagine, in a modern setting, the reaction to such casual disregard for their Soldiers life. A story of one days bloody harvest in one cemetery. By the end, millions of men, ground into the mud by Bullet and Shell. The survivors to return home and face Spanish Flu. Lions led by Donkeys
A phrase that is heard again today, when discussing the current leadership working under exactly the same Hierarchical establishment
100 years on; How have we lived up to the challenge implicit in the last verse of In Flanders Field?
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
The Age of Hierarchy started to die on the Fields of Flanders. It lingers on, but the pace of change is accelerating as we move to the Age of the Network.
Next week I will attempt to describe how this latest organisation type has been created and where it is heading. https://idd.org.uk/t/the-age-of-the-network/332
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