As the transformation proceeds, agricultural and industrial social forms will not vanish altogether, but a smaller number of workers will be able to produce what we need. Only 2 per cent of Europe’s workforce cultivates and breeds what we eat. Soon, a small percentage will produce our industrial products. Because of automation, older social forms will become increasingly peripheral. Gradually, the functions of information workers will also be automated, to be replaced by the story-teller.
But automation will not turn the digital society into a leisure society, because work for many has become part of their identity, their purpose, and so appeals to their emotional side.
There will be fewer routine, alienating jobs. But since story-telling cannot be automated, unlike the production of goods, the demand for labour will not decrease.
It is possible that the high-tech industrial information society will continue for the next 50 years, and that the emphasis will continue to be on function, products and material aspects. But if material growth continues at the same rate as it has for the past 200 years in the affluent parts of the world, in 50 years we will be 60 to 80 per cent richer than today. It is possible that we could spend this added wealth on more material goods but already there are clear signs that material rationality is waning