Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Future of Industrial Man, Chapter 7: Section 2

There was a time, when I was working as an assistant dean in an engineering school, that I felt I needed to get an outside perspective. Things were not going well and I couldn’t explain why they were not. Eventually, I found my way to the office of a dean at a school safely distant from my own. I explained the problems and found a sympathetic ear. “Rational Positivism” she explained. “Engineers want everything to be as rational as their engineering and they don’t accept that much of human existence is not.”

Such is basically the argument of this second, though not a single engineer is mentioned. It is about the failure of rationalism as a political movement. Drucker argues that rationalists are politically paralyzed. They “can neither compromise for power nor fight for it.” He ends “ultra-bold in theory and timid in action, strong in opposition and helpless in power, right on paper but incapable in politics.”

Again, this raise many questions about his views for an industry that is based on rational logic.

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