How the Tech Revolution is Setting Up Another Civil War

I recently read an insightful piece in Newsweek entitled “Trump’s Rebel Yell: How The Tech Revolution is setting up another Civil War”.

I am writing this to suggest to our readers and, for that matter, all in the tech community, read this article as it is a very important perspective on the haves and have-nots and how this situation today is similar to what it was like just before the Civil War.

Newsweek reporter Kevin Many argues that, in 1850, the Whig Party was in disarray over the North vs South debates and that the technology of the industrial revolution created a level of haves and have-nots. In an important observation, Maney says while the North was embracing the industrial revolution, the South was clinging to the old ways, including slavery and the status quo. As you know, this led to the Civil War that was costly to both sides even though it eventually put the US on track for a better future.

Mr. Maney likens today’s battle of haves and have-nots and the technology revolution in a contrasting light. He argues that, while the east and west coasts are embracing the importance of technology and its impact on everything from communications, jobs and education, the middle of the country, especially where old-line jobs are being affected by technology, is less inclined to see technology in a positive light. He believes Trump’s message is actually a “Rebel Yell” championing the status quo for those who are against the role technology will play in their future.

“Trump has become the voice of those technology has hurt. He’s not just a protest vote; he’s a rebel vote. It’s a rebellion against Republican leaders who failed to conserve industrial jobs and a more traditional society. It’s not that different from the Whigs in 1850, when the party split between “Conscience” Whigs, who were pro-industry and anti-slavery (and thus threatened the whole Southern economic house of cards), and “Cotton” Whigs, who would fight to preserve an increasingly outmoded way of life”.

Those with this thinking are lining up to support him.

I won’t steal any more of Maney’s thunder but this is a thought provoking piece. As he says in his conclusion, “Somebody has to step up and lead us through this transition—rally us and help us all benefit from the great inventions of our time. I can only imagine that if some farsighted leader in 1860 told Southerners that they were a generation away from cars, airplanes, electricity and the National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, they might have worked out a way to end slavery and skip a devastating war.”

Please read the entire piece at this link.

Published by

Tim Bajarin

Tim Bajarin is the President of Creative Strategies, Inc. He is recognized as one of the leading industry consultants, analysts and futurists covering the field of personal computers and consumer technology. Mr. Bajarin has been with Creative Strategies since 1981 and has served as a consultant to most of the leading hardware and software vendors in the industry including IBM, Apple, Xerox, Compaq, Dell, AT&T, Microsoft, Polaroid, Lotus, Epson, Toshiba and numerous others.

3 thoughts on “How the Tech Revolution is Setting Up Another Civil War”

  1. That is a great article. Thanks for pointing it out. Of course this is my favourite line:

    “The total disruption of the 20th-century way of life is inevitable and far from over.”


  2. The problem in a nutshell (from a nut) is our inability to adapt to fluid & lightening fast changes…it will unfortunately take a generation to adjust to what we need to adjust to…the hard thing will be the keeping up…education & training (or retraining) will be essential…It’s very important to make education affordable again…off my soapbox…thanks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *