Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Future of Industrial Man, Chapter 7

This is a sixty year old book but it seems to be commenting on the political events of 2010. In particular, it seems to be describing the current Populist Tide. The purpose of the chapter is to argue that rationalist liberalism, the kind of liberalism that we associate with the New Deal, is an absolutist movement and hence leads to tyranny. It’s essentially the argument of Fox News, but it better written.

I must confess that I find the implications of this chapter disturbing. Let us suppose that the New Deal liberalism is indeed tyrannical because it elevates human reasons to absolute status, because it claims that such reason is the only way to find truth. Then, Drucker argues, populism, from the right or left, is a protest moment. “It cannot develop the institutions of social or political life. For event at its best it is primarily a protest against institutions.” So Drucker would project that we apparently have some years of fruitless protest ahead. Oh Good.

Looking beyond this parallel, how will Drucker’s observation help an industry that is fundamentally based on rationalism? And promotes rationalism?

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