Working document - by Paolo Zanetto
revolution is here. With the new technologies, the
telecommunications, there are no more barriers among the different
countries of the world: the information travels at the speed of
light, is moving on the Internet, and it can't be stopped at the
custom office. In the era of globalisation, the new technologies
have knocked down the geographical problems, and they are
transforming the whole world into one, amazing global village, of
which we are the citizens.
In the History we
faced two big revolutionary waves: the agricultural revolution and
the industrial revolution. The everyday reality is foreseeing the
arrival of a third wave: the digital revolution. The central
resource is now the knowledge: information, culture, symbols, ideas.
We have to be able to ride this wave, and not to be overwhelmed.
Surfing over the new wave anyway requires energy, competence,
courage: only the youth can have these characteristics. In fact,
when it's about new technological instruments, e.g. Internet, it's
the youth that has to teach to grown-up people.
growth of the importance of the new technologies suggests a division
between those who have the necessary knowledge and those who are
technologically illiterate. This division is first of all
generational, and it has on one side the youth, who understand what's
happening, and on the other side all those who are granted by the
laces of the industrial society and of the trade unions, but who
will be inevitably injured by this process of revolution of the
society and the economics. We young people are asked to be the
players. The reason is easy: our generation is the last one of the
old era, but also the first one of the new era, and we're the only
one who can face and understand the historical passage from atom to
bit, from the physical element to the immaterial element: the ideas
are the true exchange good of the so called 'new economy'.
In a society based
more on bits than on atoms you don't need big capitals, but big
ideas. Five years ago a boy called Jeff Bezos left his job in New
York, sold his home and crossed America by car, to Seattle, where he
created a company starting with few rented dollars and his idea:
selling books trough the Internet. Today the company he founded,
Amazon.com, is worldwide known; Bezos created more than 2.500 jobs
starting with no money, but with a good idea.
The Amazon.com case
is not the only one: looking at the newcomers companies in Wall
Street, but now also in the European stock markets, it's clear that
something is changed. In Italy, for instance, the stock
capitalization of Tiscali, an Internet service provider, is almost
the same as the one of Fiat: there's no doubt that cars are more 'physical'
than telecommunications, and there's no dobut that Fiat gives work
to more people than Tiscali. The fact is that cases like Tiscali,
Amazon.com, and all the other companies of the new economy are going
to be even more frequent, and we have to begin to consider them as
serious successful business, the first line companies of the digital
revolution. It's not a mistake of the stock market that is pushing
up their value, but the power of the third wave.
In Europe, anyway,
there are more problems than in America to exploit the new economy.
Opening a company is (in general) more difficult and expensive;
taxes on business profits are overwhelming every entrepreneur.
Furthermore, finding investments when you have no big capitals by
yourself is really an impossible mission: this fact gets discouraged
all those who could build new companies, new wealth, new job places.
necessary that also in the European Union we have more venture
capital firms. Moreover, we have to facilitate the creation and the
development of the new economy companies, through a system of fiscal
aids, e.g. the de-taxation of the corporate investments in
E-commerce. That's the only way to let young entrepreneurs transform
their dreams, their ideas, in a strategic result that could be the
added value of the whole Europe.
The new economy
phenomenon, just like the Internet, is absolutely global, it doesn't
accept barriers. The policy of the single State can't do much to
stop the digital revolution wave: it just can open the doors,
unblock those gears that can't hold up the push, because they are
rusted. These are the gears of the lack of competition, of the
absurd warranties for the privileged people. The role of politics is
to help the social change, help young people and those who
understand what's happening to surf over the wave.
The new digital
challenges require some expertise: the knowledge of English language,
of computer, of the Internet, of the basic principles of the
enterprise. Above all, to accept this challenge you need the courage
to go towards the new, to be open to the rules of the global market.
It's not easy, the conservative and reactionary response will be
very strong, and it will come from the Left: those political forces
that are defending the privileges, the bureaucracy, the
old-fashioned trade unions, will do everything to defend their own
power. Politics has got two choices: teach young people the
necessary expertise, or defend the old world and let it be
progressively overwhelmed by the new.