The Advent of Information

The key issue seems to be not what happens within industrial society, but what will happen in the conflict between industrial society and the new information society which is rising to challenge it. The struggles for political freedom within typical Third World countries are small compared to the super-struggle which we will have to face in the evolution of our industrial order.

In the face of incredible population increases and ever-growing technology-induced complexities, how long will it take before all the highly centralized command states collapse? Information flows within a strong central structure, as we saw in the former Soviet Union, cannot be fed back rapidly enough to satisfy the aspirations of normal people. How long can closed socialist systems survive, given the liberation of man through information, the very information which highly centralized governments surely want to withhold from people?

The apparent fear of a highly centralized government was the onslaught of their arch enemy, capitalism. They said it poisoned the people's minds, and then they responded accordingly, by developing a “new socialism,” whatever that might be. They simply wanted more of the same. The real enemy, which they did not want to recognize, was information. As became apparent throughout Eastern Europe, if highly centralized command states do not recognize this as the real cause of pressure on their systems none of the scientific socialist ideals will help in the ...

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