A systemic crisis is usually a catalyst for transformational societal change, and it's likely that the current crisis of global capitalism is large enough to play this role. However, if change is coming, where is it bringing us? David Ronfeldt, a global guerrilla guru, has an interesting take on this from an organizational perspective. He calls the model TIMN. It's composed of four organizational forms:
At first, when a new form arises, it has subversive effects on the old order, before it has additive effects that lead to a new order. Bad actors may prove initially more adept than good actors at using a new form... As each form takes hold, energizing a distinct set of values and norms for actors operating in that form, it generates a new realm of activity — for example, the state, the market. As a new realm gains legitimacy and expands the space it occupies within a social system, it puts new limits on the scope of existing realms. At the same time, through feedback and other interactions, the rise of a new form/realm also modifies the nature of the existing ones.
Societies that can elevate the bright over the dark side of each form and achieve a new combination become more powerful and capable of complex tasks than societies that do not. Societies that first succeed at making a new combination gain advantages over competitors and attain a paramount influence over the nature of international conflict and cooperation.
- If the crisis is too severe, it can force society backwards into tribal or TI (tribal plus institutional) structures. Neo-feudalism and totalitarian states.
- This model assumes that countries, defined as discrete bordered geographies, are the only container within which these organizational forms exist. It's possible that the elevation of markets to a global level, beyond the nation-state or country container, has left nation-states vulnerable to predation. In that globalized system, market participants (who define themselves solely within context) prey on organizationally weak nation-states (T plus I).
- Global markets are supercharging tribal, institutional (corporate), and networked organizational types. As a result, they are likely to prey upon nation-states too.