- Paperback: 448 pages
- Publisher: Touchstone; 1St Edition edition (August 26, 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0684832720
- ISBN-13: 978-0684832722
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.3 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,125 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Sovereign Individual: Mastering the Transition to the Information Age Paperback – August 26, 1999
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From Publishers Weekly
The computer revolution, in the authors' dire scenario, will subvert and destroy the nation-state as globalized cybercommerce, lubricated by cybercurrency, drastically limits governments' powers to tax. They further predict that the next millennium will see an enormous decline in the influence of politicians, lobbyists, labor unions and regulated professions as new information technologies democratize talent and innovation and decentralize the workplace. In their forecast, citizenship will become obsolete; new forms of sovereignty reminiscent of medieval merchant republics will spring up; electronic plebiscites will decide legislative proposals; mafias, renegade covert agencies and criminal gangs will exercise much more behind-the-scenes power. Davidson and Rees-Mogg, who publish Strategic Investment, a financial newsletter, present an apocalyptic exercise that is unconvincing. Appendices offer advice to "Sovereign Individuals" (members of the information elite) on how to invest, find tax shelters, avoid criminals and list one's business on the World Wide Web.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Following up their equally visionary Blood in the Streets (LJ 5/1/87) and The Great Reckoning (S. & S., 1993), the authors offer a sweeping analysis of the implications, especially financial, of the information age. According to Jupiter Communications, a research firm specializing in emerging technologies, in the year 2000 online transactions will total about $7.3 billion, and new payment methods such as electronic money will be used for almost half of that amount. The authors explain that such developments are driving a "megapolitical" level of societal transformation similar in scope and significance to the end of the Roman Empire or the 15th-century gunpowder revolution. The key result of this information revolution will be the advent of the "sovereign individual" and the death of mass democracy and the welfare state. The authors are serious, conservative thinkers whose advice will attract attention on Wall Street. A major work; strongly recommended for academic libraries.?Dale F. Farris, Groves, Tex.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The alternative news sources here in 2015 carry predictions of their own that seem to be borrowed from this book.
In making their case, the authors draw an interesting and convincing parallel between today's concepts of patriotism and national duty, and the Church in late medieval Europe.
I'd fault the book for its hyped up rhetoric and excessive repetition of the same historical factoids. Also, the dire predictions of this 1997 book are somewhat undermined by the predictions of the scope of the Y2K computer failures, and also by the odd depiction of Peruvian ex-dictator Fujimori as the wave of the future.
Each revolution is brought about by technology, occurs very quickly and almost invisibly to the participants.
The first revolution was the transition from hunter-gatherer to a world of private property, brought about by the technology of agriculture.
The second, around 1000AD, resulted from knights on horseback, and involved the transition from lawless anarchy to a world dominated by the Church and the code of chivalry.
The third transition happened due to gunpowder and the invention of the movable type printing press, around 1500AD, and resulted in the fall of the power of the Church, and the rise of centralized military power and eventually the nation-state.
The authors make a convincing case that the fourth transition is happening now due to the Internet and microprocessor. Over the last 1000 years, the returns on violence were going up, but now, with the Net and computing resources, the returns have gone down.
The authors say this will result in the decline of nation-states, and skilled individuals opting out of their "contract" between themselves and their government. These individuals, call them "haves", will be able to move their assets and possibly themselves so that they are subject to dramatically lower taxes.
There are a lot of nuances here but what makes this book so interesting is that it has detailed historical back-up. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the ramifications of the web and the microprocessor.