Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The End of Economic Man, Chapter 3 (pt 2)

For the reality of industrial society is one of inequality. “

This is Drucker on page 61. “The failure to realize the ideals for which the war had been fought is directly due to the basic and fundamental cleavage between the ideals and concepts of the society of Economic Man and its actually structure revealed by the war.” The chapter is largely about the sad compromise that people make, or the compromise that Drucker feels they make.

Drucker argues that people surrender freedom. When offered the choice of keeping their freedom or avoiding some problem, such as unemployment, people surrender their freedom. Security trumps.

It is something of an arrogant claim, but it has more than a little truth. History has generally shown people to be more concerned about their comforts than their ideas. George Orwell painted a gruesome picture of the power of high technology in 1984. When the technology of that novel became available, did we resist it? Did we approach it with caution, aware that it might limit our freedom, as Orwell suggested?

No, we ran to Best Buy to see what kind of a deal we would get with it.

Maybe digital communications will not restrict our lives as Orwell suggested. But we will learn that answer after the fact, not before.

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