May 3, 2000
Ian Angell, dubbed ‘the Angell of Doom’ by The Times (London), lays out his manifesto for the New Barbarians who will lead the economic elite into a brave new world over the next two decades. He rejects the long-held view of information technology as our benign liberator from mundane work. Instead, he regards it as the seed for a new society, in which the winners in the knowledge economy will construct their own ‘smart regions’ founded on libertarian principles and enlightened self-interest.
The losers, however, face a bleak future. The three evils of socialism, racism and religious prejudice will prey on the economic insecurity of the masses, as transnational businesses roam the globe in search of ever cheaper labour. If this scenario seems unlikely, look now at the life prisoners in US jails who operate telesales services for major US companies.
Angell predicts that IT, far from creating the path to Utopia, will spell poverty for the many and self-governing opulence for the few. Only those individuals with the knowledge, talent and power to guide the social revolution will prosper, liberated from taxation, while semi-skilled and unskilled workforces become commodities, and the billion disenfranchised production workers worldwide compete on price against more efficient robots.
This brave new world is already taking shape. You might not like Angell’s warning of what it will be like, but you cannot ignore it.
Ian Angell is one of the world’s leading information technology gurus and visionaries – as well as one of the most controversial. He is Professor of Information Systems at the London School of Economics, one of the most prestigious Information Systems Chairs in the world. He is a member of the United Nations Steering Committee of Education, Science and Culture Organization and a founding member of the European Organization for East West Cooperation. He was educated at the University of Wales and the University of London.
He has written numerous books on information technology including Intelligence: Logical or Biological and is a regular contributor to journals in the field. He appears regularly in the media due to his highly controversial views on the global consequences of information technology. His views are increasingly sought by politicians, business leaders and information technology companies throughout the world.
His growing reputation and many of the ideas in The New Barbarian Manifesto are the culmination of ten years’ work developing a new perspective on the Information Age, stressing that the social, economic and organizational issues are more important than the technological ones.