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Netocracy was a term invented by the editorial board of the American technology magazine Wired in the early 1990s. A portmanteau of Internet and aristocracy, netocracy refers to a perceived global upper-class that bases its power on a technological advantage and networking skills, in comparison to what is portrayed as a bourgeoisie of a gradually diminishing importance.
The concept was later picked up by the Swedish philosophers Alexander Bard and Jan Söderqvist for their book Netocracy — The New Power Elite and Life After Capitalism (originally published in Swedish in 2000 as Nätokraterna - boken om det elektroniska klassamhället, published in English by Reuters/Pearsall UK in 2002).
The netocracy concept has been compared with Richard Florida's concept of the creative class. Bard and Söderqvist have also defined an under-class in opposition to the netocracy, which they refer to as the consumtariat.
The word netocracy is also used as a portmanteau of Internet and democracy, not of Internet and aristocracy:
- "In Seattle, organized labor ran interference for the ragtag groups assembled behind it, marshaling several thousand union members who feared that free trade might send their jobs abroad. In Washington, labor focused on lobbying Congress over the China-trade issue, leaving the IMF and the World Bank to the ad hoc Netocracy."
- "From his bungalow in Berkeley, he's spreading the word of grassroots netocracy to the Beltway. He formed an Internet political consulting firm with Jerome ..." 
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