Thursday, January 21, 2010

The End of Economic Man, Forward - Drucker's words at last

Well, I have dawdled long enough. I am now in to Drucker’s actual words. The first phrase that stands out from the rest is “Surface phenomena.” (p xv) Drucker begins the book with an attack on those who “appear to me to content themselves with surface phenomena.”

That phrase is so familiar that I wonder if I grew up in a community that quoted Drucker without identifying or even knowing the source. I even recall a high school teacher to liked to employ that phrase. He was an odd bear. A bit gruff and completely impenetrable. With the experience of 20 years of teaching, I now suspect that he assumed a gruff character in order to get his points across to group of naive teenagers.

I don’t know the extent to which Drucker is assuming a character but he is projecting a confident and knowledgeable persona. His thesis for the book seems to be rooted in the statement that there “can be no compromise between the basic principles of the European tradition and those of the totalitarian revolution” (p xv). If he is going to make good on this claim, he is going to have to defend his ideas on a broad front. Brailsford, in the preface, suggested that Drucker was capable of such a performance. We will see how he performs in this book.

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