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POLITICAL MEGATRENDS

Society Megatrends because it described nine key trends in our nation that were bound to shape our economy, our society, and our lives. There are megatrends in politics, too. We will discuss two political megatrends : (1) the rise of high-the politics, and (2) the phenomenal growth of governance and the choice that growth implies for us all.

1. The Rise of High-Tech Politics

Political system has rushed rapidly into a new period of high-tech politics. This is a politics in which the behavior of citizens and policymakers, and the political agenda it self, are increasingly shaped by technological change. Three new technological revolutions shape politics and our public policy choices : the computer and communications revolution; the bio medical revolution of the technology of warfare. The new technology is a double-edged sword. With it, we bring information more quickly to the people; but in doing so, we make it easier to manipulate political opinion. We save lives with it;but in doing so, we raise questions about the wisdom and costs of prolonging life. We enhance our national security with it, but in doing so, we escalate an arms race, adding more kilotonnage annually than all the bombs dropped in all our earlier wars.

2. The Politics of life and death : The Biotecnical Transformation

The acts of procreating, giving birth, and dying seem, at frist glance, far removed from politics as we understand it. Yet, they, too, have become entangled in a political thicket. Our capacity for manipulating life it self is by now well advanced. A biomedical revolution has brought improved, but significantly more cosly, health care.

Decisions about life and death are among the most personal of decisions. It is hard to imagine a government intruding into such private and family matters. Yet government is more intimately involved with the the beginnings and endings of life than ever before. Because of the strong moral dimensions surrounding birth and death.

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