New York, NY, Oct. 12, 2020 — Imagine that by the 2040s, Harvard College is shuttered, its hallowed halls impenetrably overgrown with miles of vines — closed for lack of demand in Ivy-League education. It’s just one jarring possibility suggested in Viktor Shvets’ thought-provoking deep-dive into the challenges facing today’s world: The Great Rupture – Three Empires, Four Turning points and the Future of Humanity – Do we need to be free?
“The lessons of the last five centuries were unequivocal — without freedom, there could be no prosperity or happiness. However, does this still hold true in the Information Age?” Shvets asks.
He expertly and compellingly distills the lessons learned over the last five centuries, and projects these into the future. Could the Information Age be rewriting the recipe for individual and national success?
According to Shvets, modern technologies are disrupting the structure of our societies, altering every facet of our lives, from the nature of work and what we intrinsically value to how we are informed, entertained and educated — it promises to be a far deeper disruption than Industrial Revolutions. Humanity is at a major turning point, and how we respond to the merger of technology and financialization will decide our future. Will it be capitalism or communism, feudalism or despotism?
The Great Rupture explores the weakening nexus between freedom and prosperity and what that means for the future of humanity. From the birth of our modern world, pivotal events have led to the collapse of non-Western civilizations — Mongol warriors sweeping across Eurasian steppes; the Black Death and a re-awakening of human spirit; Zheng He’s voyages and the collapse of Novgorod republic; and finally, the ban on printing in Arabic. What can we learn from these historical events to better prepare ourselves for the future?
As we hurtle toward that uncertain future, Shvets writes we must decide whether our cherished individual freedoms are still necessary for success and prosperity, or if in adapting to new technologies, non-Western civilizations are now better positioned for this new world, creating highly illiberal and possibly brutal orders that might no longer suffer from stagnation of ideas or wealth. For the first time in at least five centuries, we have an opportunity and tools to build a different society and economy. The book explores specific policy choices that might help us navigate this treacherous transition. Will we embrace the challenge?
Author Viktor Shvets is a global strategist at Macquarie Bank. In his almost four-decades-long investment banking career, he worked in Sydney, Melbourne, Hong Kong, London, New York and Moscow at a number of global investment banks, such as Baring Securities, Deutsche Bank, DLJ, Lehman Brothers and Credit Suisse. Over the years, he has been a highly rated analyst across various disciplines, head of research and is now recognized as one of the more innovative global market strategists, working on the intersection between finance, technology, politics and history. He is a prolific writer on key global trends and is a frequent commentator on CNBC, Bloomberg and other media outlets.
Viktor was born in Kiev, which at the time was the capital of the Soviet Ukraine. He attended Kiev University of Trade before immigrating to Australia, where he completed a Bachelor of Economics degree from the University of Sydney and a Master of Commerce degree from the University of New South Wales. He is married with two sons and currently resides in Hong Kong.
For more information, please visit viktorshvets.com.
The Great Rupture – Three Empires, Four Turning points and the Future of Humanity – Do we need to be free?
Publisher: Boyle & Dalton
Available from Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, Kobo.com and iTunes