War and Anti-war: Survival at the Dawn of the 21st Century
Are we plunging into a decade of bloody wars? Can they he prevented? In this highly original new book, Alvin and Heidi Toffler, two of the world's leading social thinkers and futurists, train their sights on a subject that has haunted humanity since history began: war and peace. Their premise is that the way we make wealth is the way we make war - that today's revolutionary changes in business are being mirrored in the world's armies and the future of war itself. What is needed, they say, is a parallel revolution in the way we make peace. War and Anti-War describes how the U.S. military went from drug-drenched defeat and demoralization in Vietnam to high performance in the Gulf - a story with lessons for many businesses today as they, too, restructure in preparation for the twenty-first century. When America is groping for new strategies, when its defense industries are in crisis, and when peacemakers are being outsmarted and outgunned around the world, this book tells us why we seem bent on violence - and what to do about it. The forms of war, the Tofflers tell us, have changed throughout history: the agrarian age gave us the hoe and the sword, the industrial age gave us mass production and mass destruction. Tomorrow, as information and knowledge become the core of advanced economies, they say, we will see the triumph of "software over steel." Just as the theories of military strategist Carl von Clausewitz foreshadowed the industrialized war of the past two centuries - the bloodiest form of war ever - this book lays the basis for the "knowledge strategies" that will increasingly dominate military thinking from now on. The "smart bombs" used in the Gulf War provided only a pale hint of a not-too-distant world in which chameleon camouflage changes to match any terrain ... in which robots might make key military decisions ... in which precision genetic weaponry can be programmed to attack a specific ethnic or racial group ... in which "virtual reality" weapons are used to confuse an enemy ... in which electronic "ants" penetrate business and intelligence computer systems ... and in which digital media replace diplomacy. Our politicians, military leaders, and peacemakers, the Tofflers warn, are no more prepared for changes like these than feudal swordsmen were for the arrival of the machine gun, the tank, and the airplane. New forms of war require new forms of peacemaking as well, and the Tofflers tell us of non-lethal weapons, of "bloodless battles" fought with infra-sound generators, of "Peace Corporations" that would profit by maintaining peace in an assigned region, of how the United Nations might be restructured to give citizens' groups, businesses, and religious movements a greater role in "peace-fare." In War and Anti-War the Tofflers unveil a new world map and introduce such striking concepts as the "revolt of the rich" and the new division of world power among three great civilizations, those of the past, present, and future. If the Tofflers' previous works are any guide, War and Anti-War will be read not only in the corridors of political power but in war ministries and peace organizations around the world. It will change the way we think about the most urgent problem on our planet today.