Monday, February 8, 2010

The End of Economic Man, Chapter 5 - The Totalitarian Miracle

Well, we are marching away. In this chapter Drucker is trying to identify the aspects of German and Italian society that are unique to those countries and are found nowhere else in Europe and hence can be used to explain why those countries were the first to become fascist.

He claims that the common factor is the fact that those two countries were late to unify and in the process never developed the affection for democracy and democratic institutions. When the people of these countries saw the faults of capitalism and socialism, they did not see democracy as a means of correcting the problems.

I am not in much of a position to argue, as I am not an historian of either country. At the same time. I suspect that this issue has been debated many times and remains an issue of contention, similar to the continuing argument over the start of the American Civil War.
But Fascism is not the topic that interests me. Drucker is. In these arguments, Drucker shows that his is facile in his ability to take society apart, identify the forces and institutions that hold the bulk of power, and interpret those entities in light of the two issues that concern him most: Freedom and equality.

From that standpoint, this book questions that should be foundational to my study. To what institutions were the early software developers loyal? Was their attachment emotional, rational, economic? Did they honestly expect a social reorganization or did they merely want to get rich?

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