TIMN

In a report for RAND, David Ronfeldt posits that 3 forms of political organization have evolved over the course of history, now joined by one more:

  1. Tribe — Lineage-based political organization. Hacks our natural evolutionary drive to protect our kin by fictionally extending kinship through extremely long chains.
  2. Institution — Impersonal hierarchies. Army, church, nation-state, corporation. Organized on the basis of a shared belief.
  3. Market — Competitive exchange. Organized on the basis of an exchangeable token.
  4. Networks — The internet. Twitter. Wikipedia. Organized via digital networks (mostly).

Notes on TIMN from Design Unbound:

In TIMN one societal form does not replace another. Instead they build on eachother, allowing society to solve problems that other sectors have not done well enough at — in fact, problems that other sectors may have created.

And:

New modes of conflict and cooperation emerge with each evolutionary shift.


Where does this network shift fit in Donella Meadows's leverage points framework? It affects 4 of the highest-leverage points:


These forms of political organization mirror the forms identified in Francis Fukuyama's Origins of Political Order.


David Ronfeldt has a blog.