What is Hypercapitalism? It was a question put forward to me by an acquaintance in early March; I’d like to write down my response to this question for future discussions. We met at a think tank and he asked if I knew what Hypercapitalism was. So, I did some research online and came up with some definitions; Hypercapitalism is “an increasing concentration of wealth or assets in the hands of a few people as a result of technological, economic, or social progress.”
Put another way, we are living in a time when most humans have become virtually slaves to computers. Most people have access to the internet; they can check email, send messages, use instant message, etc. This means that the human mind has become a powerful marketing tool. Just as new business models emerged from the ashes of previous industries, new business models will emerge from the ashes of our technological growth. Let’s face it, the internet has changed the world for the better and it will change our lives for the better.
So, what is hypercapitalism then? The definition given to me by an acquaintance; “hypercapitalism is the theory that wealth creation is not a linear process but a process of emergent action.” I think this definition is good. If wealth creation is not a linear process, then people will tend to act in response to what is happening rather than having a reaction to what is already going on. With regards to the internet, this gives the lie to the old definition which said, “The internet is a platform for markets to interact.”
The recent economic meltdown has proved that what is hypercapitalism is the ability to take advantage of emerging opportunities even when they may not be ready for prime time. You see, people are always busy making money; that is the nature of human nature. The question here is what is income producing enough to create wealth for future generations?
This is a good definition because it shows how wealth is created in the present through action. It also explains why there will be a future for everyone because everybody needs to eat, clothing, and shelter. What is more, no single person, or group of people can monopolize these activities because each one would simply over produce, while at the same time everybody would be unemployed. Therefore, it is clear that what is hypercapitalism is people using their knowledge and creativity to create wealth for themselves and their offspring.
Unfortunately, the definition given by the dictionary is very narrow. In fact, it is almost impossible to find a complete definition. This is because each individual can define what is hypercapitalism as he deems necessary for his purposes. Therefore, a definition must be broad enough to apply to all forms of activity, while still specific enough so that people who are genuinely concerned with creating wealth can be specifically targeted.
A better definition is something along the lines of entrepreneurial capitalism, which is the study of how some individuals can use technology to dramatically increase their income. By using complex mathematical algorithms, these individuals can use their superior mathematical skills to recreate businesses they see as failing or underdeveloped. By re-inventing these businesses, these individuals can then take their expertise and apply it to market their new creations. What is more, because they have taken innovative risks, they can target the most profitable markets and create businesses that will earn them millions over their lifetimes.
The crux of what is hypercapitalism is that there is no one formula for creating wealth. Instead, everyone can study business after business and develop their own method based on what works in that environment. Therefore, a definition of what is hypercapitalism that is narrow but real is an ability to identify innovative business models and put them into effect. Only such a definition can provide a clear vision of what is hypercapitalism and what its essential characteristics are.
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