The Fluid Society

Looking away from the digital tsunami

Technology has no political attention in Europe. It is not only busy political agendas that are blocking the recognition of the importance of global digitization and the will to steer it. There are simply interests for both large and small countries to give something relatively new such as “technology” or “digitization” no place in the European political arena for the time being. Just as it took two to three decades in the business world for an IT department to be considered full, so it is also in political Europe. IT, technology, digitization and everything related to it was and is hardly taken seriously at the political level. Yes, there are all kinds of new “technologies”. Yes, cybercrime needs a bit more attention here and there (do you have your firewall in order? Pay attention !). But neither the awareness nor the recognition that digitisation in and of the world is an absolute tsunami that is currently turning literally everything in all societies around the world upside down? This recognition does not exist politically at all. Anyway not in Europe. But it does exist in the US and China, which for good reason have ended up in a fierce technology conflict. And it is precisely this digital denial that is going to break up Europe ugly at the moment. No European tech giants, no European digital security policy, no uniform legislation of member states in the digital field, no attention to the development of e-skills or digi skills, but numerous defensive actions against tech giants.

No political will to recognize the Digital Tsunami. There is no will to acknowledge or accept the digital tsunami, because that would lead to a change in political agendas. Contrary to the climate problem – the seriousness of which has penetrated but despite that fact the measures are downright meagre – neither the importance nor the seriousness of digitization as a “game-changer” of the social order has really penetrated politics.

But Digital Tsunami thunders through.
And yet there is now a digital tsunami thundering around the world. For billions of people who are “suddenly” connected. And who are starting to ask questions and have wishes. With a deafening increase in cyber crime that threatens to get out of hand. With new technologies with which you can transform or digitize people for an apple and an egg, as can be seen in the roughest science fiction films. With tech giants who use data vacuum cleaners to suck up all available data for their algoritmes deforming society and who at unbridled speed change global business chains, buy up national companies or make them obsolete. The world is being digitized en masse, but that is not being noticed by those who dictate European policy.

Digital Tsunami is not in control
Recognizing the importance, the possibilities and the risks of digitization would completely change the current political landscape. Just as with the climate problem, you would then have to set up completely new policy lines. Numerous financial flows would have to be changed. The result of the digital denial is that in almost all policy areas national governments – as well as Europe as a whole – are currently completely behind the times, while in the meantime international digitalisation produces new technologies, Apps, solutions, digital companies, which are turning all kinds of things upside down almost every day. And with which nothing at all is being done. How much longer can those responsible deny the global digital tsunami or say that digitization is under control when it is clearly not?

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