Synopses & Reviews
The consequence of the technological revolution is about to hit hard: employment opportunities will collapse across the board as new technologies replace labor. Moribund capitalism and talk of market solutions won't answer this crisis. In this brave new world, the power of the people to demand a smarter and more humane economic and environmental policy will be diminished as fear trumps reason and surrender replaces hope.
Unless the tremendous benefits of technological progress are employed to serve the whole of humanity, rather than to enrich a handful of monopolists, the social contract will not be undermined -- it will be broken. Americans cannot let corporate CEOs and billionaire campaign donors define their future. People Get Ready reveals that the choices made in the next few years will decide not just how technology is utilized and how economies are organized, but whether democracy will cease to function in any meaningful sense. This book, by two of America's leading champions of Net Neutrality and efforts to close the digital divide, links an urgent call for action with an outline of what must be done to move from crisis to hope. John Nichols and Robert W. McChesney argue that the United States needs a new economy in which the benefits of revolutionary technologies are shared by everyone, applied to effectively address environmental and social problems, and used to rejuvenate and extend democratic institutions and practices.
Traveling the world, meeting with top innovators in the tech industry, and moving from the cloistered confines of Google's Mountain View complex in California to the city streets where fast-food workers march for a living wage, the authors chronicle the effects of the tech revolution on the ground and in real time. With fearless analysis and their typically clairvoyant predictive powers, they propose a bold strategy for fighting back and democratizing our digital destiny -- before it's too late.
Humanity is on the verge of its darkest hour--or its greatest moment
The consequences of the technological revolution are about to hit hard: unemployment will spike as new technologies replace labor in the manufacturing, service, and professional sectors of an economy that is already struggling. The end of work as we know it will hit at the worst moment imaginable: as capitalism fosters permanent stagnation, when the labor market is in decrepit shape, with declining wages, expanding poverty, and scorching inequality. Only the dramatic democratization of our economy can address the existential challenges we now face. Yet, the US political process is so dominated by billionaires and corporate special interests, by corruption and monopoly, that it stymies not just democracy but progress.
The great challenge of these times is to ensure that the tremendous benefits of technological progress are employed to serve the whole of humanity, rather than to enrich the wealthy few. Robert W. McChesney and John Nichols argue that the United States needs a new economy in which revolutionary technologies are applied to effectively address environmental and social problems and used to rejuvenate and extend democratic institutions. Based on intense reporting, rich historical analysis, and deep understanding of the technological and social changes that are unfolding, they propose a bold strategy for democratizing our digital destiny--before it's too late--and unleashing the real power of the Internet, and of humanity.
About the Author
John Nichols, a pioneering political blogger, has written The Nation
's Online Beat since 1999, is their Washington, DC, correspondent, and is a contributing writer for The Progressive
and In These Times
. He is also the associate editor of the Capital Times
, the daily newspaper in Madison, Wisconsin, and a co-founder of Free Press. His articles have appeared in the New York Times
, Chicago Tribune,
and dozens of other newspapers, and he frequently appears on MSNBC, NPR, BBC and other broadcast media outlets as a commentator on politics and media issues. Nichols lives in Madison, WI, and Washington, DC.
Robert W. McChesney is the Gutgsell Endowed Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the author or editor of 23 books. His work has been translated into 30 languages. He is the co-founder of Free Press, a national media reform organization. In 2008, the Utne Reader listed McChesney among their 50 visionaries who are changing the world. He lives in Madison, WI.