Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Future of Industrial Man, Chapter 4: Industrial Reality of the 20th Century (pt 6)

Last for this chapter. Drucker critiques a number of attempts to create functioning societies within the industrial world. He has one kind thing to say about agrarianism – looking back to agriculture as the foundation of society. Basically, he says that it looks backward rather than forward. It is nostalgic in the way that Bob Dylan songs are nostalgic for a society that can’t exist.

He is much harder on unions as he claims that they are primarily a negative force that is no more legitimate than modern management. Finally, he dismisses those who think that management can be the basis for a functioning society. (notably James Burnham.) Again, the legitimacy of management is his key issue.

I’ve been thinking about how I would place modern, Internet based production into Drucker’s framework. Clearly, the Internet has been a good place to sell labor and services. My friend Doug the Rocket Scientist is working with a Pakistani programmer to develop an application for his energy system. He found the guy on an internet site that is a market for skilled labor. I see how this site bring income to individuals and how it allows them to work as independent entrepreneurs. I’m not sure that it assembles them into a functioning society. This website seems to be nothing more than a day-laborer market. And it does nothing more for the programmers who sell their services, than the kinds of markets that one can find in key suburban parking lots, where low skill workers pedal their labor for a days wage and nothing more.

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