The World Economic Forum (WEF) has gathered under the theme of "Mastering the fourth Industrial Revolution" in Davos this year, although it's a little late to bring up this issue in a period where wealth inequality constantly intensifies around the world and "the manufactured uncertainty," as British sociologist Anthony Giddens defines it, halts economic investments particularly in developing countries. Although economic summits like Davos, which address the global economy every year, have discussed the 2008 financial crisis and its impacts out of necessity since 2008, they have failed to delve into the essence of the crisis. The root cause of the current crisis is that the system fails to highlight this new economic transformation holistically. The economic and technological paradigm, which is called the fourth Industrial Revolution, qualitatively differs from the two main consecutive phases of the mechanization process that started the Industrial Revolution. This process, which was based on the intense exploitation of labor, activated water and steam power.Here is a chronology of the phases of the Industrial Revolution depending on leading technologies in different periods: The first phase featured machines operated by steam power, the second one concerned the industrialization that relied on electrical power, and the third one was electronic and digital industrialization. These three phases relied on a kind of profitability that monopolized technological knowledge and enlarged economic scale. The fourth phase, which can be defined as a perfect communication (Internet) between cyber-physical systems, networks and objects, is constructed on the unlimited distribution of knowledge and technology, as well as on the basis of flexible working and scales.
Developed countries, which are addressing this revolution in Davos now, produced major legal sanctions about the transfer of technology to prevent the proliferation of countries like South Korea, which copied technology in the late 1990s and caught up with these developed countries by reproducing that technology. They prevented the switch to a knowledge society, which was supposed to be based on the unlimited spread of knowledge, and intensified the crisis by prolonging the lifespan of the old system. Such obstacles increasingly escalated income inequality in developing countries and made wealth inequality an absolute case around the globe. Indeed, the phase dubbed the fourth Industrial Revolution was not only a switch to technology, but also the subversion of the whole system and the reconstruction of it in economic and political aspects. As the fourth Industrial Revolution disturbed the monopoly of technology, technological rent was ceasing to be an advantage for monopolies and the states that held possession of these monopolies. The switch to technology transfer as of the 1990s signified that the world's political balance was changing and it was moving toward a multi-polar balance. Namely, nuclear technology came to be accessed by everyone. Meanwhile, huge multinational economic structures, for instance media empires, turned into "stupid" and idle economic elements; technological aggregations that were based on computer networks and the competition that was based on flexible working came to the fore, and banking and finance systems that were based on the financing on champions ended up in the middle of the crisis. The system defined these oversize structures as "too big to fail" and fabricated all kinds of financial tricks to keep them alive.
Developed countries must renounce their "old" understanding of sovereignty so that the fourth Industrial Revolution can spread in the strictest sense and become clear as a dynamic that can put an end to the crisis. But, this is impossible and that is why the crisis is continuing to escalate. New restrictions are being placed on the use and spread of knowledge and developing countries are exposed to a continuous state of economic and political uncertainty to prevent their defense industries from going beyond conventional bounds. As Giddens claims, the manufactured uncertainty prevents developing countries from accessing new technology and developing. The prevalence of nuclear technology prevents a total war on sharing; however conventional civil wars are put into operation in order to perform this task in developing countries. The manufactured uncertainty hampers investments by making economies more fragile, disturbs income distribution and delays the new industrial revolution from reaching developing countries by triggering the processes of rapid impoverishment and civil wars. Moreover, the belt-tightening policies of the 20th century are imposed on these countries so that they regress further. These kind of austerity programs prevailed in the eastern and southern parts of the world during the 1990s. American economist Joseph Stiglitz suggests that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and U.S. diplomacy enforced developing countries to "cut their budgets, remove trade barriers and privatize public institutions" and determined central bank governors and economy ministers in these countries during the 1990s. Certainly, Stiglitz was an economist who had the best command of that process, as he served as an advisor to Bill Clinton's administration between 1995 and 1997 and as a chief economist at the World Bank between 1997 and 2000.
I am sure that fund managers from London and New York stealthily questioned the economic authorities of developed countries and the central bank governors of developing countries at the backstage of Davos. They must have asked why developing countries have not yet privatized their strategic institutions and even chastised them for not removing some trade barriers as a part of their reform programs. I am not sure that 'our fellows' asked those fund managers about obstacles in technology transfer, de facto customs sanctions, refugee crises and the restriction of labor force circulation.