Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Future of Industrial Man 1: The War for Industrial Society (pt 2)

Drucker calls this a civil war for western civilization. He sees the orgins in many places, including William James and August Comte. He is holding to the ideas that he identified in the last book. The economic sphere is primary. Freedom is the key value. The important features of society are the principles that people apply to physical reality to create social institutions. He repeats his critique of totalitarianism from the last book. Totalitarianism replaces a non-economic hierarchy for an open economic structure. “The violent repression of freedom by the totalitarians proves that they are trying to make society function by abandoning freedom.”

One of my favorite discussions of engineering society, Edwin Layton’s “Revolt of the Engineers” dwells on that economic fault line that runs between technical and financial people, whose with specialized knowledge about specific engineering processes and those with more general managerial skill. This is not smeothign that Durcker is going to address at the moment, though it will have to be something that recur in these writings.

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