We are moving through the second chapter of Concept about a page at a time, but it offers many topics for discussion. The biggest, which has bothered me from the start of this project, concerns the connection between 21st industrial life and the second world war. Was our industrial organization complete determined by the forces that shaped the late 1940s? Memories of the 1930s depression, the rise of fascism, the conversion of industry to war work, the desire – strong among business people – to free the corporation from governmental control. It is a question that will not be easily answered until the end of this project.
In the meantime, Drucker is arguing that mass production and the corporate structure that supports such production is the foundation for all modern industry. Mass “production is not a technique but a basic concept of industrial organization that is generally applicable.” he argues here. “Its essence—to repeat what has been said before in different words—is the substitution of co-ordination and organization for individual skill.”