Publication: Zombification and Industry 4.0

Kovács, O. (2022): Zombification and Industry 4.0—Directional Financialisation against Doomed Industrial Revolution. Social Sciences, Vol. 11., No. 5, Article No. 218; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11050218

This contribution addresses the puzzle of whether Industry 4.0 is able to autochthonously bring back the real economy (non-financial corporate sector) into the consciousness of the financial sector. It is all the more important since the conventional wisdom over financialisation says that it cannot be reversed without re-establishing the command of the social and collective over the private and individual for the modern era. Our paper argues that a healthy diffusion of Industry 4.0 is doomed unless some directionality is set within the financialisation process. To this end, by building on the relevant lessons of complexity science, it investigates the complex nexus among financialisation, zombification and Industry 4.0 development, an aspect which is not even sporadically examined in the literature. After presenting a short stock take on excessive financialisation, the paper deciphers the main systemic channels of zombification affecting negatively the outlooks of Industry 4.0. Some important policy recommendations are drawn as well.