Ecological Nation: a glimpse of the future to come
Since the advent of the Internet, communication among people has gone beyond physical interaction. The convenience and immediacy occasioned by chat rooms and instant messaging applications like Yahoo Messenger 20 years ago not only helped man to meet people of different orientations and backgrounds; it also collapsed geographical boundaries and strengthened the fibres of globalisation.
The coming of MySpace and later Facebook, Twitter, Line, WeChat and other social platforms further accentuated the growth of virtual communication space, thereby giving rise to virtual communities of people who may not necessarily have any creed or leaning in common.
In his 1993 article, Rheingold notes that “Virtual communities are social aggregations that emerge from the Net when enough people carry on those public discussions long enough, with sufficient human feeling, to form webs of personal relationships in cyberspace.”
The first hint that this may happen was given in 1968 by two American Army research administrators, J.C.R. Licklider and Robert Taylor. Their research birthed the first of such communities, ARPANET, the forerunner of the Internet.
In Nigeria, like most countries of the world, is tapping into the affordances offered by the Internet and social media and the consequent virtual communities, homegrown forums like Nairaland give impetus for cross-cultural interactions.
However, virtual realities and cultures can be very different from actual realities and cultures. These could be tied down to human’s latent survival instinct. When people of different backgrounds – culture, languages, religions, ideologies, gender orientations etc – meet online, the need to find a common ground and co-exist, coupled with the immediacy of the Internet and social media, usually lead to the creation of new cultures.
While real life communities cannot be said to be subjected to the controls of online communities, the possibility of that happening is not lost on Mr Zhai Shanying, the chairman of Puhua Commercial Group, who proposed the ecological nation theory after a study of the world history of economic and technological developments.
An ecological nation is a country where specific spiritual needs of certain groups of people are met. Mr Zhai Shanying contends that such a nation will rise because conventional laws of survival and development will be dislodged and “an internet life, another life parallel to the real life, will start to play an increasingly prevailing role in the development of humanity.” It will be populated by those whose vertical spiritual needs can be satisfied by the intelligent contracts of the blockchain which is used to manage their online behaviours – this sort of blockchain that enables them to establish a mechanism for the sharing of their credit records and seamless confirmation of their identities and joint recognition of conduct.
With technology at its fulcrum, an ecological nation’s economy and its productive force are determined by popular support, instead of finance and capital.
With its inherent fairness, openness, democracy, sharing and boundlessness, the virtual world will gradually become a spiritual world with a brand-new survival mode for humanity.
As virtual beings that live in that world begin to play an increasingly prevailing role over the human body living in the real world, an internet nation that provides greater reliance, comfort and credibility to the spiritual world of human beings shall appear. The behaviours of people in this realm will eventually have control over their real-life behaviours.
Invariably, the nation entrenches a sense of Utopia among its citizens since their collective actions determine its the viability of the society.
Touching on the connection between Mr Zhai Shanying’s theory and Karl Marx Das Kapital, BON CLOUD’s Janet Yang said: “In 2018, when human society is transforming from industrial civilization into Internet civilization, the “ecological nation” theory proposed by Puhua Commercial Group once again defines the changing mode of productive forces in the future development of humanity from a brand-new perspective, and thus becomes an important basic theory of economics that may guide the survival and development of human society in the pending internet civilization as a substitute to Das Kapital.”
Once the ecological nation is founded, a new source of economic growth will be generated to drive considerable investments and create a brand-new market.
Hence, Mr Zhai Shanying’s Puhua Commercial Group takes initiative to call for all enterprises to form an alliance to found a series of ecological realms.
The group has three branches: the Sino-Balance Business School, new financial projects, and an incubation park. It is developing all products, services and standards based on the “ecological nation theory”.
There is no evidence that a Nigerian company is currently adapting ecological nation to suit its commercial purposes, but it is believed that an enterprise can acquire preemptive advantages, affect offline life in all aspects, and become a “creator” in the online “ecological nation” period if it can grasp this historic opportunity and create an advanced strategic plan.
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