Thursday, April 8, 2010

Review: "Industrial Cities": The Future of Industrial Man

One of the members of my doctoral committee joined the University of Washington in the 1930s and perhaps he knew this review, Thomas I Cook. Seattle is an odd bear of a city. The only urban area shut down by an industrial strike. The Wobblies. The Industrial Workers of the World. When I was there, the Anarchist party still had a visible presence in the city. And, of course, in 1999, protesters shut down the WTO negotiations that were being held in the city.

Dr. Cook is clearly more impressed in the political sphere than the industrial sphere. “Indeed, one is tempted to suggest that the modern democratic state has as its essential task the rendering responsible of the industrial organization,” he argues. “provided that the state is conceived as community organized rather than government all-powerful, there is less danger in the extension of its powers than in Mr. Drucker’s own scheme.”

Seattle is, of course, an industrial city. In 1943, it was connected to the rest of the country by only a few steel rails that crossed the mountains and deserts. Probably not the place where these ideas would meet a favorable reaction.

Political Science Quarterly

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