Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Future of Industrial Man, 2: What is a Functioning Society? (pt 3)

Drucker calls them beliefs. I would identify them as values, as the qualities that we value in a society. Freedom of speech. Freedom of action. Personal ownership of property. Perhaps he identifies them as beliefs because he sees them as outside of his metaphysical system. Things that cannot be deduced within his logic and yet concepts that fundamentally shape the institutions and rules of society.

In the world of technology, the beliefs of rational positivism play a major role. We belief that we can control nature. That we can gain this control by isolating key elements and actions. That control is expressed in fundamental concepts and rules. That this control can tend to a positive good.

Such is the technological world. We are haunted in this work, by the line from Pope’s Essay to Burlington “And Laughing Ceres re-assumes the land.” There are things we cannot control. Nature fights back. Weeds fill the garden and moss destroys the bricks. Yet, such is not a value that we use to organize technological society.

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