The Inglorious Years
The Collapse of the Industrial Order and the Rise of Digital Society
How populism is fueled by the demise of the industrial order and the emergence of a new digital society ruled by algorithms
In the revolutionary excitement of the 1960s, young people around the world called for a radical shift away from the old industrial order, imagining a future of technological liberation and unfettered prosperity. Industrial society did collapse, and a digital economy has risen to take its place, yet many are left feeling marginalized and deprived of the possibility of a better life. The Inglorious Years explores the many ways we have been let down by the rising tide of technology, showing how our new interconnectivity is not fulfilling its promise.
In this revelatory book, economist Daniel Cohen describes how today's postindustrial society is transforming us all into sequences of data that can be manipulated by algorithms from anywhere on the planet. As yesterday's assembly line was replaced by working online, the leftist protests of the 1960s have given way to angry protests by the populist right. Cohen demonstrates how the digital economy creates the same mix of promises and disappointments as the old industrial order, and how it revives questions about society that are as relevant to us today as they were to the ancients.
Brilliant and provocative, The Inglorious Years discusses what the new digital society holds in store for us, and reveals how can we once again regain control of our lives.