The Network Union - A Review
The network union represents the antecedent to the network state, the projected future evolution of internet and the role it plays in the society. As a concept, it's defined as a cohesive social union that has three main components:
- A leader, with clear legitimacy
- A mission-driven purpose
- Internal infrastructure and self-governing mechanics built on the blockchain
The core insight here is that as humans are self-organizing by nature, and as they spend more time in a medium, they will seek to self-organize and build structures that are dependent and shaped within the mold of the environment. For example, you can draw clear lines between the different environments that humans have engaged this self-organizing behaviour in, and the social structures they have built, and see the self-expressive properties of the environment within these structures.
In other words, form follows function, especially as it relates to the social structures that humans built, and the network union is no exception. We can see how we are building towards this eventuality by tracing our history throughout the past and how different technological advancements enabled these changes.
Civilization, Agriculture and Language
Prior to agriculture, there was no need for humans to self-organize into large groups. Large groups often led to a disadvantages, especially within the context of the hunter-gatherer lifestyle. For example:
- Larger groups are less nimble, and less likely to be able to respond to changing environmental dynamics
- Larger groups require more sustenance, and as a result will need to travel more in order to reach areas with the resources needed to satisfy the group
- Consumption can quickly outpace resource gathering. For example, populations grow exponentially. as a population group grows, you will likely have more people consuming (especially early on in their lifetime), relative to those that have built the skills to gather and/or hunt.
With agriculture, we saw humans begin forming the first large scale form of social administration and organization. This led to the first civilizations, and complex societies as a result. This led to all of the incredible developments that built the foundations of our modern societies:
- Social administrations and hierarchies
- Specialized labor, distinct social classes
- Economies built on exchanges of value, along with building currencies
- Forms of record-keeping, and symbolic expression
- Faster communications, along with alternate forms of communication (including writing)
Capitalism, The Enterprise and Unions
The second major wave was the modern enterprise - a self-organizing social group that has a purpose separate from a society. In this group, the purpose was solely the pursuit of capital and wealth. This differs from the previous civilizations and agricultural societies, as in those social groups, the purpose was often an abstract notion such as empowering the pursuit of religious deities and/or the power and legitimacy of hierarchical social groups. This pursuit of capital and wealth led to the rise of specific social architectures that follow logically from this:
- Leaders with built legitimacy
- Labourer unions
With this pursuit of capital and wealth, we also see the rise of legitimate leaders who's legitimacy is often the result of their own performance. This performance is largely driven by their own skillset and ability to manage large groups of people and strategically allocate resources to drive leverage and wealth for the broader group of stakeholders - shareholders, employees and modern society.
We also saw secondary effects of this rise - and counter-movements in the form of collective labor bargaining as a form of challenging and counter-balancing the power of capital. In this instance, we see that large groups of specialized workers and labourers agree to have their individual voices represented by representatives, and commit to perform in accordance to the group for the empowerment of the broader group.
Finally, we get to the network unions, which is defined as a social graph that is organized in a tree-like structure. It contains three main things - being built on blockchain, leader and purpose.
This is built, and enabled by technological developments, that mirror many historical developments. As a result, we will see parallel evolution of the network union in a way that combines both the waves of the civilization developments and the capitalism developments. In this instance, we see that there are all sorts of parallel and new products/features that mirror offerings by previous evolutions.
The main differentiator here is using the technology of the blockchain to enable an online, scaled version of the product offerings of previous social construct. For example, instead of currencies, network unions can offer tokens and balance. Instead of financial systems and laws, there is a system of crowdfunding and decentralized finance built on the blockchain, with trust engrained in the technology. Finally, we see that these network unions at scale can carry external benefits - whether that comes in the form of lobbying as a unit for specific benefits, or recognition of the value of its internal tokens as a currency that can be exchange for outside goods.