This juxtaposition, of a “battle” between “Second Wave” partisans and those
of the new “Third Wave,” is central to the work of Alvin Toffler and the
recent rhetoric of Newt Gingrich. But these dire warnings of struggle never
really identify who it is that’s struggling, and especially who it is that
makes up the ranks of the “Second Wave” partisans. Business leaders are
already won over to the doctrines of “re-engineering” and “downsizing,” not
to mention lots of other phony claptrap that makes up the fads of business
management, like “total quality management” and “teams” and “participatory
management style.” Government is being “re-engineered” just like the
private sector, thanks to Vice President Al Gore and, of course, Bill
Clinton’s pledge to get rid of hundreds of thousands of federal workers.
Trade unions have been more innovative in proposing adjustments to
information technology than most industry leaders, except when the
adjustments mean unemployment for their members. Just who is it who is
tenaciously and futilely holding on to the “Second Wave” of industrialism?
We never hear who the real enemies are.

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