This Digital That Connects Us

Technology can counterbalance the harshness of the times if it is used as a real tool for cooperation.

Who does not see him every day more? The digital wave is redrawing deep individual and collective potentialities. At the heart of digital, our social place and our economic activity are disrupted. What is our digital identity to come? How is she going to build? This is the reflection at the heart of the cooperative society 3.0 of the economist Jean-Marc Rogier. The economist stresses how, in his view, modern society still lacks cooperation. Cooperate, he says, not collaborate. This nuance is essential to the project of the living-together, insofar as, in order to hope to work towards the principle of a sustainable society, the cooperation must be established by competition or competition regimes in society.

But what does “cooperate” mean? For Rogier, it is a matter of thinking together about the political and ethical project and all the technological innovations. It is this association that will redefine the links, relationships and cooperative spaces between groups and individuals: “It is essential to consider how far digital technology reaches us structurally,” says Jean-Marc Rogier opening his book. It is, therefore, the “structural” dimension of our living together that preoccupies the economist.

Rebalancing factor

Digital technology does not confront us with a simple collaborative revolution but provokes the transformation of a whole societal building. This includes work as well as culture, leisure, education, learning, and knowledge. Will our identity be completely disrupted? “If the new information technologies carry a radical innovation, Rogier answers, it is unlikely that it is simply our behavior that is changing, it will affect our values more surely”.

Faced with social violence, and the harshness of competition, can digitally be a rebalancing factor? Does technology promote competition or bring more solidarity? The idea of a counterweight, set up by the construction of a computer space for cooperative exchange, is clearly defended here by the author. By building a virtual and cooperative community, “it becomes urgent to introduce more calming dimensions within collectives, to offset the harshness of our social relationships.”

Successful pollination

Developing a perspective that is both legal and economic, Jean-Marc Rogier proposes here a dynamic and convincing reflection. His idea of “collaboration” as an integrating model to mitigate the violent effects of capitalism leads him to imagine a social model where the value is in exchange rather than exploitation. Construction of cooperation, the organization of common space, establishment of collective memory, sharing of information, acceleration of exchanges, development of educational transmissions … The digital wave brings societal challenges. To cope, the values of exchange and cooperation are the key to successful pollination.

The transformation of our organizations also raises the question of another citizenship and the meaning of digital democracy. Will the power be concentrated or shared? A pragmatic economist, Jean-Marc Rogier offers his readers a manual of cooperative system tools, which he inscribes in an anthropological and philosophical reflection. The cooperative, and not only the productive; connection, instead of exploitation; the participative, as a remedy for consumerism. This is a learning of our ability to connect, as suggested by Jean-Marc Rogier: “The revolution of media to exchange otherwise hardly begins,” concludes the author, “the network will reconfigure itself around a greater reciprocity “. This is the challenge of a sustainable and responsible civilization, to which we can only subscribe.


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