Authors

Donald Cowan

Document Type

Lecture

Publication Date

1990

Abstract

Our society has already entered a new age, in which the basic social structures are undergoing radical change. Most people refuse to recognize the shift and are ingeniously trying to preserve or restore the old. They are busying themselves with educational reforms, economic strategies, strict concern for property and for profit; they doggedly insist on reinforcing the crumbling walls instead of building new structures: "back to basics," the frantic attempt to raise scores, the insistence upon literacy as the single qualification for membership in society, the futile effort to stem a tidal wave of drugs and debauchery with the fragile moralism of a past age. But however we may strive in this direction, the new is among us, whether we like it or not. We are into a new cultural situation, where individual enterprise and ambition will be insufficient motives for the operation of society. Competition, the safeguard against conspiracy, our traditional way of fostering individualism, is no longer effective in an economy not ruled by scarcity. but by the plenty that technology provides. Aggressiveness ceases to be an advantage and is no longer counted a virtue. The question is, can we -- believers in progress that we are -- make a low-key society work?

Comments

DAC 07.05

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