Starting with the publication of their seminal bestseller, Future Shock, Alvin and Heidi Toffler have given millions of readers new ways to think about personal life in today’s high-speed world with its constantly changing, seemingly random impacts on our businesses, governments, families and daily lives. Now, writing with the same rare grasp and clarity that made their earlier books classics, the Tofflers turn their attention to the revolution in wealth now sweeping the planet. And once again, they provide a penetrating, coherent way to make sense of the seemingly senseless.Revolutionary Wealth is about how tomorrow’s wealth will be created, and who will get it and how. But twenty-first-century wealth, according to the Tofflers, is not just about money, and cannot be understood in terms of industrial-age economics. Thus they write here about everything from education and child rearing to Hollywood and China, from everyday truth and misconceptions to what they call our “third job”—the unnoticed work we do without pay for some of the biggest corporations in our country. They show the hidden connections between extreme sports, chocolate chip cookies, Linux software and the “surplus complexity” in our lives as society wobbles back and forth between depressing decadence and a hopeful post-decadence. In their earlier work, the Tofflers coined the word “prosumer” for people who consume what they themselves produce. In Revolutionary Wealth they expand the concept to reveal how many of our activities—whether parenting or volunteering, blogging, painting our house, improving our diet, organizing a neighborhood council or even “mashing” music—pump “free lunch” from the “hidden” non-money economy into the money economy that economists track. Prosuming, they forecast, is about to explode and compel radical changes in the way we measure, make and manipulate wealth. Blazing with fresh ideas, Revolutionary Wealth provides readers with powerful new tools for thinking about—and preparing for—their future.
This latest futurist forecast by the Tofflers, the husband-and-wife authors of Future Shock, anxiously surveys hundreds of technological, economic and social developments, including globalization, the rise of China, the decay of Europe, the decline of nuclear families, kids today, satellites, genetic engineering, alternative energy sources, frequent-flyer miles, the Internet and the rise of a new economic group, "prosumers" (those who create goods and services "for own use or satisfaction, rather than for sale or exchange"). Above all, the authors note the ever-accelerating speed and transience of all things such that nanoseconds are now too slow and will be replaced by even zippier "zeptoseconds." The Tofflers try, none too incisively, to order the chaos by invoking the "deep fundamentals" of time, space and the cutting-edge "knowledge economy" that is fast outdistancing obsolete industrial-era government institutions. The Tofflers' mantra of "revolutionary wealth" implies that there's money to be made from the maelstrom, but their specific prognostications the "explosion" of a nonmonetary "prosumer" economy of family care, hobbies and volunteerism; embedded "pinky chips" combining ID and credit cards; the comeback of barter seem underwhelming or unlikely. 200,000 first printing