Discusses how the transformation from an industrial to an information society has disrupted moral standards, showing how the disruption will evolve into a Great Reconstruction
Francis Fukuyama is one of America's most astute and original thinkers, and his books have opened new perspectives on the changing world around us. In The End of History and the Last Man, he was the first to glimpse the emerging shape of the post-Cold War world. In Trust, he analyzed the social factors that create prosperity and explored how they can best be harnessed. Now, in his most provocative and far-reaching book, Fukuyama turns his attention to even more fundamental questions about the nature of modern society. The Great Disruption begins by observing that over the past thirty years, the United States and other developed countries have undergone a profound transformation from industrial to information societies; knowledge has replaced mass production as the basis of wealth, power, and social interaction. At the same time; Western societies have endured increasing levels of crime, massive changes in fertility and family structure, decreasing levels of trust, and the triumph of individualism over community. Just as the Industrial Revolution brought about momentous changes in society's moral values, a similar Great Disruption in our own time has caused profound changes in our social structure. Drawing on the latest sociological data and new theoretical models from fields as diverse as economics and biology, Fukuyama reveals that even though the old order has broken apart, a new social order is already taking shape. Part of human nature, he shows, is the fact that we are all biologically hard wired to forge bonds with one another, creating social cohesion in new and adaptive forms, not only in our neighborhoods but also in our business organizations and family structures. Indeed, he suggests, the Great Disruption of the 1960s and 1970s may be giving way to a Great Reconstruction, as Western society weaves a new fabric of social and moral values appropriate to the changed realities of the postindustrial world. The cycle of disruption and reconstruction is a familiar one in human history, and in pointing us toward the future, Francis Fukuyama challenges our assumptions about society and culture and opens up a new world of possibility. Breathtaking in its scope, The Great Disruption is an indispensable guide for how to think about the millennium about to dawn.