Why a Digital Dark Age may be upon us....

A Digital Dark Age may be upon us in the next decade. This will be so because of the tension and stresses between the digital technology driven decentralization and fragmentation of all aspects of commerce.

by Robert Glaze *)

A Digital Dark Age may be upon us in the next decade. This will be so because of the tension and stresses between the digital technology driven decentralization and fragmentation of all aspects of commerce, communications and innovation, and, the increasing desire by federal governments to increase the centralization of power and control of its citizens and business through deeper regulation of the digital infrastructure, digital networks and systems that are proliferating worldwide.

Today, from Asia to Europe there are now conversations about a return to city-states as an alternative to nation state models. Large centralized governance models may no longer possess the current knowledge based flexibility and agility to reflect the diverse and innovation driven desires of their citizens, institutions and businesses that are rapidly adopting the technology blueprints for decentralized societies. Third Industrial Revolution firms and industries may align with federal governments to save themselves from the new decentralization and circular economics and markets of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Vigilantes fighting for “web freedom”
The Digital Dark Ages will emerge when the tension between federal governments, the technology super powers and people and businesses reaches the point that federal and state agencies seek to seize control of access to electrical power, digital infrastructures, and all communication systems and networks. This will create outages of services and power limitations in a new form of cyber warfare takes place between ever changing alliances by traditional governments, technology super powers and guerilla groups of highly skilled technology vigilantes fighting for “web freedom” without a flag.


A cyber-revolt from the ranks of the ever-growing global underclass, who, due to having erratic connectivity of electrical power and digital connectivity, will create varying degrees of social disorder as food supply and medical services decline and unemployment soars due to automation and computation. The overall populations in the civilized world today are both aging and becoming less literate and more dependent on touch based dumb devices linked to smart clouds and data centers and in general are defining their existence around a digital world.

The rise of virtual nations will emerge for the technology, financial and business over-class and elites and the role of geographies will become lost to time as the basis for political and economic systems. If you are not a citizen of this virtual nation, which will be for approximately 800 million people, who will represent over 90% of the world’s wealth it will be due to your digital economic value qualifications are not valid for citizenship.

The end of nations?
Just this week the nation of Denmark appointed and sent an “ambassador” to engage with Silicon Valley to perform a role more commonly associated with nation to nation engagement. Over the past few years your humble author of this article has provided strategy simulation exercises on how a virtual nation could form and exist for very concerned officials and agencies in three of western civilizations leading countries.

The end of nations will be the end of order, and for some years or decades, a Digital Dark Ages for at least for 90% of the world’s population. This will be a return to the historical models of wealth and asset distribution on the earth, 5-10% of the people will control 90% to 95% of the capital, assets and power.

The increasing complexity of our emerging world as shown by many of the above examples will lead to a new era of uncertainty and insecurity. This world we live on is too important to leave to politicians, technology titans and self-appointed techno-political vigilantes.  


On September 22nd 2017, Robert Glaze will be the keynote speaker of our event “Leadership 4.0 Leading in the Age of Digitalization“. LEARN MORE


*) Robert Glaze

is a meta-technologist and global senior level practitioner, speaker and executive tutor in the Business of Technology, the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the Digital Convergence.

He calls himself a developer of the concepts of Digital Industrialization,the Digilithic Era, Management in the Digisphere and The Coordination of Complexity.

He has served as a strategic advisor to first pan european broadband networks, first global continent to continent broadband networks, manufacturing, digital services and technology industries CEO’s, COO’s, CTO’s and CISO’s.