The super-empowered individual

In the late 1990s, globalization and the internet were twin forces that were for the most part wholeheartedly embraced without much thought of the downsides, probably because the people suffering the downsides were not politically powerful.

The “giant sucking sound” Ross Perot warned of during the debates of NAFTA were seen as a last gasp of populism. In 1993, then-vice president Al Gore vanquished Perot during a live CNN debate that drew 16 million viewers – imagine such a thing today – and the political, financial and business power structures moved in lockstep to liberalize markets and embrace tech-driven automation and open markets.

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