The New Merchant Class: A primer on next century’s politics
Daniel Imrie-Situnayake

Really interesting article but I think it’s wishful thinking to believe the tech industry represents a new merchant class. Most people in the industry who are making big money are employees of Facebook and Google etc. The exit strategy of every startup is to get a 100x return from being bought out and consumed by one of the big players. Nobody is challenging authority (read VC’s) because their seed funding is dependent on it. The tech industry is just another way for educated white men to get rich and feeds inequality because it is largely funded by the wealthy for the wealthy.

Technology is and certainly will continue to be disruptive. It always has been. But don’t be fooled into believing there is anything revolutionary going on behind the scenes. That’s navel gazing. We’re struggling to rationalise an underlying belief in socialist values but at the same time craving wealth, fame and status. It’s an age old problem and the tech industry is doing nothing to answer it.

If founders could resist the pull of VC funding and not aim for the buyout but just aim to provide a service owned and funded by its users then perhaps it could offer an alternative model and create a new class of ‘user/owners’ but nobody wants to do all the work to then give it away without getting rich first – which just feeds the system.

The real disruption is moving away from money and finding alternative forms of currency and value. In liberating ourselves from work altogether – as a society. In philosophically abandoning greed. In evolving psychologically beyond our selfish impulses and looking out for each other and protecting each other from ourselves. Accepting we are flawed rather than demanding perfection and legislating to minimise the impact of those flaws on each other. Amen.