Monday, February 22, 2010

The Future of Industrial Man (1943)

We are starting a new book but it is a book that begins where the old book ended. It is 1943. The Second World War is at the peek that it will ride for another year. We have agreed that Europe is first, Japan is second. We have had the battles of North Africa and the German defeat at Stalingrad. We are starting to fight up the Italian peninsula.

Drucker argues that this war if the first industrial war, the first war in which industry is the prime weapon. He also notes that this war has a much more sophisticated division of labor than the first world war. Bombing crews, he notes, have very specialized duties. Twenty-five years before, the trenches were filled with masses of undifferentiated humanity.

The structure of the war will establish the structure of the piece. In particular, how we learn to manage the industry of conflict will set the stage for how we do it in peace and will help us to see if we can actually keep the peace.

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