Home Very Big Systemic Trend – Demographics, the mother of change

GEAB 156

The monthly bulletin of LEAP (European Laboratory of Political Anticipation) - 15 Jun 2021

Very Big Systemic Trend – Demographics, the mother of change

Demographics are the “mother of change”. Indeed, the successive resizing of the global population is at the origin of the imperatives to transform the political-techno-economic systems that organise the human community. For example, the Industrial Revolution created an era of shared prosperity which represented social progress in its early stages (allowing a very primitive and isolated rural population to socialise, get access to better education and care). But this prosperity provoked a demographic surge that soon put the model into disarray, crushed under a plethoric workforce, causing wages to collapse, defeating the model of prosperity and inducing a series of transformational crises between the 1870s and 1945. The Second World War was the ultimate crisis that allowed a new model to be established, based on consumption rather than labour, and assumed to be sustainable since the more people there were, the more wealth would be created. This era has allowed a new demographic boom that is now causing the model to run up against planetary boundaries.[1]

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