Ouroboros is the mythical snake that eats its own tail.
In this case, it represents how modernity ends. It eats itself.
Specifically, the technologies the modern system accelerated, are in the process of obsoleting it.
Eating its value, industry by industry. Job by job.
The end of this way of life is likely to be traumatic.
Here’s what is next….
Here we are. A system in perpetual crisis. Less and less able to accomplish basic functions.
A system being led by an economic and political leadership increasingly divorced from reality.
A self-aggrandizing leadership unable to do anything but engage in exercise of complex futility (political – healthcare/national insecurity) or fantasy (economic – the shadow banking system). A complexity made worse by applying technological patches/fixes/solutions to a system in decline.
However, that isn’t where it ends. Humanity has more in store for it than bureaucracy and markets can make possible.
Something new is coming and its arrival distorts the current system.
In the economy, we saw it arrive with Internet companies. Companies that carry within them, the seeds of what it takes to run the current economy with a fraction of the people it takes today, and do it better. Companies able to delivery services to billions with only a couple of hundred employees…
These companies arrived with a bang, with valuations in the stratosphere. Valuations that continuously fund wave after wave of companies in the same mold. Companies that want to replace entire industries.
We’re seeing this right now with the arrival of bitcoin. Unable to attack the financial industry directly due to a thicket of legal, regulatory, and political barriers, an alternative was found. A financial transaction system that runs and funds itself. And, as we’ve seen before, continued waves of innovation are being financed by the massive and growing valuation it is receiving.
What is the industry in the cross-hairs? One answer is retail banking and everything associated with it. The goal being the replacement of nearly everything being done today with an infinitesimal fraction of the people and overhead used today.
To a casual observer, this may appear like a natural extension of the capitalist system. More of what we’ve experienced in the past. A creative destruction renewing and replacing defunct industries, with the rewards flowing to the innovators building these replacements.
That would be the wrong conclusion. If you dig deeper, it’s clear that this is much more. The current system is actually funding its demise. It’s doing this by richly rewarding the people that turning its current functions into a mere feature of something new.
So, even though the entrepreneurs in tech start-ups, as well as the people in the ecosystems surrounding them, may have been embraced by Wall Street, Main Street, and Pennsylvania Avenue, they are different. As different as the early modern capitalists were from the feudal lords they eagerly bought titles from, at the very same moment they were bankrupting the aristocracy.
They are creating something new, and that new system is what the new American Dream needs to drive forward.