This paper argues that the momentous changes that occurred in Eastern Europe during 1989 are the harbingers of a new model for human affairs worldwide. The authors contend that the future of Europe will be influenced not so much by its political history as it will be by global trends being driven by profound changes in the information technologies. The communist bloc failed primarily because its closed societies were no longer able to compete with the growing prosperity the information revolution was bringing to other countries. To remain competitive, a society must open its doors to telecommunications. However, in doing so, the power structure will become decentralized because the free flow of information displaces power from the elite to the people. This will decrease the importance of nationalism as a force for shaping the future. The authors conclude that telecommunications are the dominant force that will shape the decades ahead.
Builder, Carl H. and Steven C. Bankes, The Etiology of European Change. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, 1990. https://www.rand.org/pubs/papers/P7693.html. Also available in print form.
Builder, Carl H. and Steven C. Bankes, The Etiology of European Change, Santa Monica, Calif.: RAND Corporation, P-7693, 1990. As of September 08, 2021: https://www.rand.org/pubs/papers/P7693.html