Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Future of Industrial Man 1: The War for Industrial Society

This chapter repeats much of what was said in the prior book about the Nazis and totalitarianism. It is written at a time when our scientific and engineering establishments are being established and are working to expand production. Both the NDRC – the National Defense Research Council – and the OSRD – Office for Scientific Research and Development – are fully formed and operating, Both of them tended to rely on young researchers – most barely out of grad school. Many had to get deferments from the draft.

This new group of researchers would set the stage for 50 years of research. When I started graduate school they were very much present, though clearly in the last years of their leadership role. The history of war-time research argues that these scientists had to be put into a stronger social structure because the United States did not have the time to waste. They had to develop new weapons, train the soldiers and deploy the new systems in the war.

Drucker doesn’t comment on this but it represents an early example of what he is discussing. A small group of scientists have a leadership role and work with a highly stratified support team. This will be the structure that wins the war and establishes the peace.

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