Creating a new civilization – the politics of thethird wave The third wave is a book written by sociologist andfuturologist by Alvin Toffler in 1980.
It is sequel to the future shock,published in 1970, and the second is a trilogy that was completed with powershift: knowledge, wealth, and violence at the edge of 21st centuryin 1990. Since 1993, Toffler has collaborated with his wife Heidi on two otherbooks, war and anti-war: survival at the down of the twenty- first century andcreating a new civilization: the politics of the third wave (1994). Toffler inhis best-selling future shock argues that technological changes since theeighteenth century have occurred so rapidly that many people are experiencingundue stress and confusion because of their inability to adapt quickly to thestrategic change.Review The book contends that the world has not swerved into lunacy, and that, in fact, beneath the clatter and jangle of seeminglysenseless events there lay a starling and potentially hope full pattern andthisbook is about that pattern and that hope. It divides the story of the evolutionof human civilization into three major phases: the agricultural revolution, theindustrial revolution and the information age. Each civilization phase isdenoted as a wave in the book and each phase is defined by its own ideologythat is impacted by variance in technology, social patterns, informationpatterns and Power patterns. The strategic change in these variables broughtnew wave in the society pushing back the old one.
Through this cyclic pattern,”humanity faces a quantum leap forward. It faces the deepest social upheavaland creative restructuring of all time. Without clearly recognizing it, we areengaged in building a remarkable new civilization from the ground up.
.. what ishappening now is nothing less than a global revolution, a quantum jump inhistory”.
However, there can be no fixed time for a wave or civilizationto survive before it is replaced with the ways of life inconceivable to thosewho came before. The agricultural revolution took thousands of years to play itout, while the rise of industrial revolution took a mere three hundred years.Today history is even more accelerative, and it is likely that the Third Wavewill sweep across history and complete itself in a few decades. This newcivilization, as it challenges the old, will topple bureaucracies, reduce therole of nation-state and give rise to semi-autonomous economies in a post–imperialist world, heal the breach between producer and consumer giving riseto ‘presume’ economy.Apparently different in facial make up, all thethree civilizations hold land as the basis of economy, life, culture, familystructure, and politics. In all of them, life was organized around the villageand birth determined one’s position in life.
Division of labor prevailed and afew clearly defined castes and classes arose: nobility, priesthood, warriors,helots, slaves or serfs. In all of them, power was rigidly authoritarian. Andin all of them, the economy was decentralized, so that each community producedmost of its own necessities. The First Wave: During the First Wave peoplestayed in one place and developed a sense of cyclical times that repeated itwith cycles of moons, crops, and seasons. Everyone worked on the farm andpeople were generalists able to do many things. First Wave civilization’spopulation could be divided into two categories; the primitive and thecivilized.
The primitive peoples lived in small bands and tribes and subsistedby gathering, hunting, or fishing. The civilized world, by contrast, wasprecisely that part of the planet on which most people worked on the soil.Wherever agriculture arose, civilization took root. All societies: primitive,agricultural, or industrial used energy; they made things and distributedthose. In all societies the energy system, the production system, and thedistribution system are interrelated parts of the system as a whole. Apparentlydifferent in facial make up, all the three civilizations hold land as the basisof economy, life, culture, family structure, and politics. In all of them, lifewas organized around the village and birth determined one’s position in life.The Second Wave the Industrial Revolution took three hundred years to matureand since then all Second Wave societies accelerated their economy by usingenergy from irreplaceable fossil fuels through dipping into the earth’s energyreserves i.
e. coal, gas, and oil. And all Second Wave societies that builttowering technological and economic structures on the assumption that cheapfossil fuels would be endlessly available. A shift to nonrenewable energysources: coal, gas, and oil made mass production possible.
Mass productionrequired giant pools of capital. To encourage investors, the concept of limitedliability was introduced and the corporation was created. In one Second Wavecountry after another, social inventors, believing the factory to be the mostadvanced and efficient agency for production, tried to embody its principles inother organizations as well. Schools, hospitals, prisons, governmentbureaucracies, and other organizations thus took on many of the characteristicsof the factory; its division of labor, its hierarchical structural and itsmetallic impersonality, in other words, bureaucracy.