Andreas Herteux is the author of The Alternative Hegemony Model (AH Model): The “invisible hand” of nurture for the better. The AH Model is based on current changes in international political and economic systems. It proposes a model for nudging states and companies towards globally beneficial behaviour through nurturing them and rewarding positive actions.
Andreas, do you have a background in political science or economics?
My background is a degree in economics and law. I have also dealt in books and newspaper articles with the connection between politics, society and the economy.
For example, my first book was about political marketing and the last one about a model that would correct mistakes in the capitalist system for the benefit of people.
Why do you believe that the world is entering a new era?
There are several indicators that show that the world is facing a change that could be compared in intensity to the Industrial Revolution. I would call it “Change of Times”.
This change of times consists of five major factors:
- Dealing with technological progress (e.g. digitisation, biotechnology, human optimisation)
- Rise of new competitors in world markets (e.g. Asian countries)
- Weakness of the Western world (e.g. instability, diminishing confidence in existing orders, loss of competitiveness, the political rise of China)
- Change of the environment (e.g. due to climate change, resource exploitation, environmental degradation)
- Overpopulation and missing life perspectives (e.g. due to the demographic development on the African continent)
What made you decide to write The Alternative Hegemony Model?
The Alternative Hegemony Model (AH Model): The “invisible hand” of nurture for the better is an answer tot he Change of Times. It is a solution to challenges we are not well prepared for.
In my opinion, the Western world is in a strategically difficult situation, from which it must free itself. At the same time, however, I hardly see any funds or efforts that would be really suitable. With the model, I try to make a contribution to show that change is still possible and the future has not been written. But too much indicates that freedom could lose the competition of the future against autocracy. We can not permit that.
What is the AH Model?
The AH Model is an evolution of the current international political and economic system. It further develops the system, maintains existing structures and redirects negative dynamics.
The AH Model nurtures states and companies towards beneficial behaviour. This behaviour is rewarded and negative deviations are penalised. These incentives make positive behaviour both profitable and sustainable.
In doing so, the AH Model makes use of the same forces that are dominant in a capitalist system. However, it leads them in a new direction: the invisible hand of the market becomes the invisible hand of nurture.
This is achieved by bundling technological research and development work in newly established technology centres. These technology centres accumulate scientific competence, develop and test sustainable technologies for concrete use in member countries. Production and distribution are provided by co-operating companies, which continue to operate according to a market economy.
The AH Model is implemented and financed using an AH Fund. The AH Fund becomes the owner and market participant. It assumes the role of a sustainable super-company, which is managed by a management board in the same way as a joint-stock company is run.
The AH Fund’s Board of Directors is controlled by a body (“Supervisory Board”) which is composed of representatives from the individual countries and which is obliged to render accountability to the national democratic authorities and at the donor conference.
The developed technologies are only made available in the markets of those countries that demonstrate positive and sustainable behaviour (“minimum criteria”). Compliance with the criteria is also a prerequisite for participation in the AH Fund.
The aforementioned criteria (e.g. human rights, press freedom, social standards, etc.) are monitored continuously.
States that refuse to meet the criteria are excluded from technological progress, but are indirectly encouraged by the invisible hand of nurture to voluntarily adjust to the new system.
By preserving nation-states, retail management systems and cultural peculiarities it is to be expected that the populace will generally accept the change, and in turn it is rewarded for its positive and peaceful behaviour.
The financing is based on a percentage transfer of the gross social product. Further income is generated through licensing.
For a fee, the AH Fund awards usage and production licenses to companies that co-operate and comply with the criteria. The companies supply specified markets and are regulated for these products. In this way, sustainable technologies and progress are circulated using well-known distribution channels.
By means of the pure market power of the AH Fund, as well as the exclusivity it offers, existing companies will be encouraged to co-operate. This market power will also be used to procure resources (knowledge transfer, personnel, etc.).
The same applies to states and businesses: they will continue to be selfish and want to achieve maximum benefit for themselves. Nevertheless, positive behaviour is expected, i.e. cooperation and fulfilment of the criteria, profit maximisation and maximum benefits.
For this reason, states and companies will largely adapt themselves voluntarily. The market forces are thus steered in a positive direction. The invisible hand of nurture has an effect and it is this which is the central element of the AH Model.
By using this beneficial behaviour and progress, the key problems of the planet can be solved or, at the very least, contained. In the long term, dictatorships and autocracies will become obsolete. A new world community will emerge taking cultural peculiarities into consideration while also looking to the future. An alternative hegemony that nurtures for the better.
How do you propose to make nurturance an incentive?
The basic idea is that states and companies usually act in a maximised way. Now, if the maximum benefit is achieved by adhering to a catalogue of values, then a corporation or a state of pure selfishness will abide by it. The Alternative Hegemony model redirects this egoism to create prosperity and a better world.
It is a voluntary system and this voluntarism is interesting because it benefits you a maximum, not because you are good.
What do you believe is causing the current changes in politics and economics?
In my opinion, the current changes in the Western world are part of the change of times. The political instability is no coincidence and in particular for Europe, much points to major economic problems in the next four years. Many future-oriented measures are not well targeted and could be completely sacked. That’s why new ideas are needed, because everything seems to move a little bit into a dead end. Unfortunately we can not afford that in such a time.
In contrast, in China there is a well-planned plan to guarantee the country’s long-term supremacy. This starts with the purchase of raw materials, agricultural land or technology and ends with a conversion to the domestic market.
How do you think the world will change in the next few decades?
It might be relatively easy to predict that the 5 elements of change will shape the future permanently. Of course China will become a gigantic topic of the future.
But what does that mean for us? That’s easy to answer. We are at the beginning of the Change of Times. This holds opportunities and risks. It’s up to us whether we ultimately count to the winners or the losers. But if we do not start quickly now, the West will lose its supremacy.
Thank you Andreas for sharing your thoughts with us!
You can follow up with Andreas Herteux at www.understandandchange.com