During the 1960s, American academics heralded the emergence of postindustrial societies, blessed with rapid technological innovations, high rates of productivity and economic growth. Time devoted to work would decline, career patterns would change and society could look forward to a ‘leisure revolution’. Future shock became ‘leisure shock’. All societies – capitalist and communist, Western and Eastern – would eventually converge around similar meritocratic occupational structures, identical technological infrastructures and common lifestyles. A future of leisure seemed inescapable.