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The Seventh Age of Man: Maturation on Apple Books
There are a few I haven't come across, so will purchase these for our school. It is much more modest than that, and yet I am uneasily aware that it is already much too ambitious, because it unavoidably touches on all these issues. The book is divided into five major parts. The first deals with the impact of the scientific-technological revolution on world affairs in general, discussing more specifically the ambiguous position of the principal disseminator of that revolution — the United States — and analyzing the effects of the revolution on the so-called Third World.
The second part examines how the foregoing considerations have affected the content, style, and format of man's political outlook on his global reality, with particular reference to the changing role of ideology. The third part assesses the contemporary relevance of communism to problems of modernity, looking first at the experience of the Soviet Union and then examining the over-all condition of international communism as a movement that once sought to combine internationalism and humanism. The fourth part focuses on the United States, a society that is both a social pioneer and a guinea pig for mankind; it seeks to define the thrust of change and the historical meaning of the current American transition.
The fifth part outlines in very broad terms the general directions that America might take in order to make an effective response to the previously discussed foreign and domestic dilemmas. Having said what the book does attempt, it might be helpful to the reader also to indicate what it does not attempt. First of all, it is not an exercise in "futurology"; it is an effort to make sense of present trends, to develop a dynamic perspective on what is happening.
Secondly, it is not a policy book, in the sense that its object is not to develop systematically a coherent series of prescriptions and programs. In Part V, however, it does try to indicate the general directions toward which America should and, in some respects, may head. In the course of developing these theses, I have expanded on some of the ideas initially advanced in my article "America in the Technetronic Age," published in Encounter, January , which gave rise to considerable controversy.
I should add that not only have I tried to amplify and clarify some of the rather - 5 - condensed points made in that article, but I have significantly revised some of my views in the light of constructive criticisms made by my colleagues. Moreover, that article addressed itself to only one aspect discussed primarily in Part I of the much larger canvas that I have tried to paint in this volume. It is my hope that this essay will help to provide the reader with a better grasp of the nature of the political world we live in, of the forces shaping it, of the directions it is pursuing.
In that sense, it might perhaps contribute to a sharper perception of the new political processes enveloping our world and move beyond the more traditional forms of examining international politics. I hope, too, that the tentative propositions, the generalizations, and the theses advanced here — though necessarily speculative, arbitrary, and in very many respects inescapably inadequate — may contribute to the increasing discussion of America's role in the world.
In the course of the work, I have expressed my own opinions and exposed my prejudices.
I say "still" because I am greatly troubled by the dilemmas we face at home and abroad, and even more so by the social and philosophical implications of the direction of change in our time. Nonetheless, my optimism is real. Although I do not mean to minimize the gravity of America's problems — their catalogue is long, the dilemmas are acute, and the signs of a meaningful response are at most ambivalent — I truly believe that this society has the capacity, the talent, the wealth, and, increasingly, the will to surmount the difficulties inherent in this current historic transition.
In this respect, I share the view of Barrington Moore, Jr. First of all, the critical spirit has all but disappeared. Second, modern sociology, and perhaps to a lesser extent also modern political science, economics, and psychology, are ahistorical. Third, modern social science tends to be abstract and formal. In research, social science today displays considerable technical virtuosity. But this virtuosity has been gained at the expense of content. Modern sociology has less to say about society than it did fifty years ago" Political Power and Social Theory, Cambridge, Mass. There are times when a whole generation is caught in this way between two ages, two modes of life, with the consequence that it loses all power to understand itself and has no standard, no security, no simple acquiescence.
That is the principal thrust of contemporary change. Time and space have become so compressed that global politics manifest a tendency toward larger, more interwoven forms of cooperation as well as toward the dissolution of established institutional and ideological loyalties. Humanity is becoming more integral and intimate even as the differences in the condition of the separate societies are widening. Under these circumstances proximity, instead of promoting unity, gives rise to tensions prompted by a new sense of global congestion. A new pattern of international politics is emerging.
The world is ceasing to be an arena in which relatively self-contained, "sovereign," and homogeneous nations interact, collaborate, clash, or make war. International politics, in the original sense of the term, were born when groups of people began to identify themselves — and others — in mutually exclusive terms territory, language, symbols, beliefs , and when that identification became in turn the dominant factor in relations between these groups. The concept of national interest — based on geographical factors, traditional animosities or friendships, economics, and security consid- erations — implied a degree of autonomy and specificity that was possible only so long as nations were sufficiently separated in time and space to have both the room to maneuver and the distance needed to maintain separate identity.
During the classical era of international politics, weapons, communications, economics, and ideology were all essentially national in scope. With the invention of modern artillery, weaponry required national arsenals and standing armies; in more recent times it could be effectively and rapidly deployed by one nation against the frontiers of another. Communications, especially since the invention of the steam engine and the resulting age of railroads, reinforced national integration by making it possible to move people and goods across most nations in a period of time rarely exceeding two days.
National economies, frequently resting on autarkic principles, stimulated both the awareness and the development of collective vested interest, protected by tariff walls. Nationalism so personalized community feelings that the nation became an extension of the ego. All four factors mentioned above are now becoming global. Weapons of total destructive power can be applied at any point on the globe in a matter of minutes — in less time, in fact, than it takes for the police in a major city to respond to an emergency call. The entire globe is in closer reach and touch than a middle-sized European power was to its own capital fifty years ago.
Transnational ties are gaining in importance, while the claims of nationalism, though still intense, are nonetheless becoming diluted. This change, naturally, has gone furthest in the most advanced countries, but no country is now immune to it. The consequence is a new era — an era of the global political process.
Yet though the process is global, real unity of mankind remains remote. The contemporary world is undergoing a change in many respects similar to that prompted by the earlier appearance of large population centers. The growth of such centers weakened intimate and direct lines of authority and contributed to the appearance of many conflicting and crosscutting allegiances.
A typical city dweller identifies himself simultaneously with a variety of groups — occupational, religious, leisure, political — and only rarely operates in an environment that is exclusively dominated by a single system of values and a unilinear personal commitment. American metropolitan politics are typically messy: special-interest and pressure groups, ethnic communities, political organizations, religious institutions, major industrial or financial forces, and even the criminal underworld interact in a pattern that simultaneously includes continuous limited warfare and accommodation. Global polities are acquiring some analogous characteristics.
Don't Read These After Dark: A Horror Book List for Tweens
Nations of different sizes and developmentally in different historical epochs interact, creating friction, variable patterns of accommodation, and changing alignments. While the formal rules of the game maintain the illusion that it is played only by those players called "states" — and, when war breaks out, the states become the only significant players — short of war the game is truly played on a much more informal basis, with much more mixed participation.
Some states possess overwhelming power; others, the "mini-states," are overshadowed by multimillion-dollar international corporations, major banks. The methods for coping with international conflicts are hence becoming similar to those for dealing This was a major change from the earlier feudal age. At that time weapons were largely personal, communications were very limited and primarily oral, the economy was primitive and rural, and ideology stressed direct, religion-based obeisance to a personally known chief.
These conditions thus reinforced and reflected a more fragmented "intranational" political process. A characteristic feature of concentrated humanity is the routinization of conflict. Direct violence becomes increasingly regulated and restricted, and ultimately comes to be considered as a deviation from the norm. Organized mechanisms, in the form of uniformed, salaried personnel, are established to confine violence to socially tolerable limits. A certain measure of crime is accepted as unavoidable; for the sake of order, therefore, organized crime is generally preferred to anarchic violence, thus indirectly and informally becoming an extension of order.
The routinization of conflict on a global scale has been the goal of statesmen for many decades. Agreements, conventions, and pacts have sought to govern it. None of these could prove effective in a system of relatively distinctive and sovereign units; but the appearance of rapid communications, which created not only physical proximity but also instant awareness of distant events, and the onset of the nuclear age, which for the first time made truly destructive global power available to at least two states, fundamentally altered the pattern of international conflict.
On the one hand these factors depressed its level, and on the other they heightened its potential and increased its scope. Urban underworld wars do not give rise to much moral revulsion nor are they seen as major threats to social peace. Only outbreaks of violence directed at that peace, as represented by human life and major vested interests — banks, shops, or private property, for example — are resolutely combated. Similarly, in the more advanced portions of the world there is a tendency among the establishment and the middle class of the "global city" to be indifferent to Third World conflicts and to view them as necessary attributes of a low level of development — provided, of course, that such conflicts do not feed back into the relations among the more powerful states.
Wars in the Third World thus seem tolerable as long as their international scale is contained at a level that does not seem to threaten major interests. In our time the routinization of conflict has also meant a shift from sustained warfare to sporadic outbreaks of violence. Sustained, prolonged warfare was made possible by the industrial age. In earlier times armies confronted each other, fought pitched, head-on battles, and, like gladiators of old, scored decisive vic- tories or went down in defeat.
test1.expandit.io/sanctum.php The industrial age permitted societies to mobilize their manpower and resources for prolonged but indecisive struggles resembling classical wrestling and requiring both skill and endurance. Nuclear weapons — never used in conflict between nuclear powers — pose the possibility of such mutual annihilation that they tend to freeze their possessors into passive restraint, with sporadic outbreaks of Violence occurring on the peripheries of the confrontation.
Though, in the past, violence tended to result in the use of maximum available power, today those states possessing maximum power strive to employ a minimum in the assertion of their interests. Since the appearance of nuclear weapons, relations between the superpowers have been governed by a rudimentary code of restraint forged by trial and error in the course of confrontations ranging from Korea through Berlin to Cuba. It is likely that in the absence of these weapons war would long since have broken out between the United States and the Soviet Union.
Their destructive power has thus had a basic effect on the degree to which force is applied in the relations among states, compelling an unprecedented degree of prudence in the behaviour of the most powerful states. Within the fragile framework in which the contemporary transformation of our reality occurs, nuclear weapons have thus created an entirely novel system of deterrence from the reliance on overwhelming power. In the case of urban politics, the weakness of accepted and respected immediate authority is compensated for by the sense of higher allegiance to the nation, as represented by the institutional expression of state power.
The global city lacks that higher dimension — and much of the contemporary search for order is an attempt to create it, or to find some equilibrium short of it. Otherwise, however, global politics are similarly characterized by the confusing pattern of involvement, congestion, and interaction, which cumulatively, though gradually, undermines the exclusive-ness and the primacy of those hitherto relatively watertight compartments, the nation-states.
In the process, international politics gradually become a much more intimate and overlapping process. Eras are historical abstractions. They are also an intellectual convenience: they are meant to be milestones on a road that over a period of time changes imperceptibly and yet quite profoundly.
It is a matter of arbitrary judgment when one era ends and a new one begins; neither the end nor the beginning can be clearly and sharply defined. On the formal plane, politics as a global process operate much as they did in the past, but the inner reality of that process is increasingly shaped by forces whose influence or scope transcend national lines.
The majority of 'conflicts' during these years have taken place in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, the so-called Third World. And a large number of them have followed on or been associated with the break-up of colonial empires, whether Ottoman, British, French or Japanese, and the subsequent emergence of new states which are often small, poor and insecure" David Wood, "Conflict in the Twentieth Century," Adelphi Papers, June , p. The above study contains a list of eighty conflicts that have occurred in the years All but eight of these conflicts involved Third World participants on both sides.
The analogy with metropolitan politics is also made by Theodore H. Von Laue js particularly stimulating in his analysis of the impact of the Western "metropolitan" system on world politics during the last century. The Onset of the Technetronic Age The impact of science and technology on man and his society, especially in the more advanced countries of the world, is becoming the major source of contemporary change. Recent years have seen a proliferation of exciting and challenging literature on the future.
In the United States, in Western Europe, and, to a lesser degree, in Japan and in the Soviet Union, a number of systematic, scholarly efforts have been made to project, predict, and grasp what the future holds for us. The transformation that is now taking place, especially in America, is already creating a society increasingly unlike its industrial predecessor. The industrial process is no longer the principal determinant of social change, altering the mores, the social structure, and the values of society. In the industrial society technical knowledge was applied primarily to one specific end: the acceleration and improvement of production techniques.
Social consequences were a later by-product of this paramount concern. In the technetronic society scientific and technical knowledge, in addition to enhancing production capabilities, quickly spills over to affect almost all aspects of life directly. Accordingly, both the growing capacity for the instant calculation of the most complex interactions and the increasing availability of biochemical means of human control augment the potential scope of consciously chosen direction, and thereby also the pressures to direct, to choose, and to change.
Reliance on these new techniques of calculation and communication enhances the social importance of human intelligence and the immediate relevance of learning. The need to integrate social change is heightened by the increased ability to decipher the patterns of change; this in turn increases the significance of basic assumptions concerning the nature of man and the desirability of one or another form of social organization.
Science thereby intensifies rather than diminishes the relevance of values, but it de-mands that they be cast in terms that go beyond the more crude ideologies of the industrial age. This theme is developed further in Part II. New Social Patterns For Norbert Wiener, "the locus of an earlier industrial revolution before the main industrial revolution" is to be found in the fifteenth-century research pertaining to navigation the nautical compass , as well as in the development of gunpowder and printing. The consequence of this new tech-netronic revolution is the progressive emergence of a society that increasingly differs from the industrial one in a variety of economic, political, and social aspects.
The following examples may be briefly cited to summarize some of the contrasts: 1 In an industrial society the mode of production shifts from agriculture to industry, with the use of human and animal muscle supplanted by machine operation. In the technetronic society industrial employment yields to services, with automation and cybernetics replacing the operation of machines by individuals. In the emerging new society questions relating to the obsolescence of skills, security, vacations, leisure, and profit sharing dominate the relationship, and the psychic well-being of millions of relatively secure but potentially aimless lower-middle-class blue-collar workers becomes a growing problem.
Education, available for limited and specific periods of time, is initially concerned with overcoming illiteracy and subsequently with technical training, based largely on written, sequential reasoning. In the technetronic society not only is education universal but advanced training is available to almost all who have the basic talents, and there is far greater emphasis on quality selection.
The essential problem is to discover the most effective techniques for the rational exploitation of social talent. The latest communication and calculating techniques are employed in this task. The educational process becomes a lengthier one and is increasingly reliant on audio-visual aids. In addition, the flow of new knowledge necessitates more and more frequent refresher studies. Newly acquired wealth is its foundation, and intense competition the outlet — as well as the stimulus — for its energy. However, I prefer to use the neologism "technetronic," because it conveys more directly the character of the principal impulses for change in our time.
Similarly, the term "industrial" described what otherwise could have been called the "post-agricultural" age. Knowledge becomes a tool of power and the effective mobilization of talent an important way to acquire power.
In the technetronic society the university becomes an intensely involved "think tank," the source of much sustained political planning and social innovation. The American exception to this rule was due to the absence of a feudal tradition, a point well developed by Louis Hartz. In the industrial age literacy makes for static interrelated conceptual thinking, congenial to ideological systems. In the technetronic society audio-visual communications prompt more changeable, disparate views of reality, not compressible into formal systems, even as the requirements of science and the new computative techniques place a premium on mathematical logic and systematic reasoning.
The resulting tension is felt most acutely by scientists, with the consequence that some seek to confine reason to science while expressing their emotions through politics. Moreover, the increasing ability to reduce social conflicts to quantifiable and measurable dimensions reinforces the trend toward a more pragmatic approach to social problems, while it simultaneously stimulates new concerns with preserving "humane" values.
The issue of political participation is a crucial one. In the technetronic age the question is increasingly one of ensuring real participation in decisions that seem too complex and too far removed from the average citizen. Political alienation becomes a problem. Similarly, the issue of political eqaality of the sexes gives way to a struggle for the sexual equality of women. In the industrial society woman the operator of machines — ceases to be physically inferior to the male, a consideration of some importance in rural life, and begins to demand her political rights.
In the emerging technetronic society automation threatens both males and females, intellectual talent is computable, the "pill" encourages sexual equality, and women begin to claim complete equality. Moreover, political attitudes are influenced by appeals to nationalist sentiments, communicated through the massive increase of newspapers employing, naturally, the readers' national language.
In the technetronic society the trend seems to be toward aggregating the individual support of millions of unorganized citizens, who are easily within the reach of magnetic and attractive personalities, and effectively exploiting the latest communication techniques to manipulate emotions and control reason.
Reliance on television — and hence the tendency to replace language with imagery, which is international rather than national, and to include war coverage or scenes of hunger in places as distant as, for example, India — creates a somewhat more cosmopolitan, though highly impressionistic, involvement in global affairs. The tendency toward depersonalization economic power is stimulated in the next stage by the appearance of a highly complex interdependence between governmental institutions including the military , scientific establishments, and industrial organizations.
As economic power becomes inseparably linked with political power, it becomes more invisible and the sense of individual futility incfeases. In the technetronic society the adaptation of science to humane ends and a growing concern with the quality of life become both possible and increasingly a moral imperative for a large number of citizens, especially the young. Eventually, these changes and many others, including some that more directly affect the personality and quality of the human being himself, will make the technetronic society as different from the industrial as the industrial was from the agrarian.
And just as the shift from an agrarian economy and feudal politics toward an industrial society and political systems based on the individual's emotional identification with the nation-state gave rise to contemporary international politics, so the appearance of the technetronic society reflects the onset of a new relationship between man and his expanded global reality.
Our expanded global reality is simultaneously fragmenting and thrusting itself in upon us. The result of the coincident explosion and implosion is not only insecurity and tension but also an en- tirely novel perception of what many still call international affairs.
Bell defines the "five dimensions of the post-industrial society" as involving the following: 1 The creation of a service economy. Everything seems more transitory and temporary: external reality more fluid than solid, the human being more synthetic than authentic.
Even our senses perceive an entirely novel "reality" — one of our own making but nevertheless, in terms of our sensations, quite "real. Human conduct, some argue, can be predetermined and subjected to deliberate control. Man is increasingly acquiring the capacity to determine the sex of his children, to affect through drugs the extent of their intelligence, and to modify and control their personalities.
Speaking of a future at most only decades away, an experimenter in intelligence control asserted, "I foresee the time when we shall have the means and therefore, inevitably, the temptation to manipulate the behaviour and intellectual functioning of all the people through environmental and biochemical manipulation of the brain.
Under the headline "Study Terms Technology a Boon to Individualism," 4 The New York Times reported the preliminary conclusions of a Harvard project on the social significance of science. Its participants were quoted as concluding that "most Americans have a greater range of personal choice, wider experience and a more highly developed sense of self- worth than ever before. In this connection a word of warning from an acute observer is highly relevant: "It behaves us to examine carefully the degree of validity, as measured by actual behaviour, of the statement that a benefit of technology will be to increase the number of options and alternatives the individual can choose from.
In principle, it could; in fact, the individual may use any number of psychological devices to avoid the discomfort of information overload, and thereby keep the range of alternatives to which he responds much narrower than that which technology in principle makes available to him. Their avail-ability is not of itself proof of a greater sense of freedom or self-worth. Instead of accepting himself as a spontaneous given, man in the most advanced societies may become more concerned with conscious self-analysis according to external, explicit criteria: What is my IQ?
What are my aptitudes, personality traits, capabilities, attractions, and negative features? The "internal man" — spontaneously accepting his own spontaneity — will more and more be challenged by the "external man" — consciously seeking his self-conscious image; and the transition from one to the other may not be easy. It will also give rise to difficult problems in determining the legitimate scope of social control. The possibility of extensive chemical mind control, the danger of loss of individuality inherent in extensive transplantation, the feasibility of manipulating the genetic structure will call for the social definition of common criteria of use and restraint.
As the previously cited, writer put it, ". The consequences are social consequences. In deciding how to deal with such alterers of the ego and of experience and consequently alterers of the personality after the experience , and in deciding how to deal with the 'changed human beings, we will have to face new questions such as 'Who am I?
By the end of this century approximately two-thirds of the people in the advanced countries ill live in cities. It has not been deliberately designed to improve the quality of life. The impact of "accidental" cities is already contributing to the depersonalization of individual life as the kinship structure contracts and enduring relations of friendship become more difficult to maintain.
Julian Huxley was perhaps guilty of only slight exaggeration when he warned that "overcrowding in animals leads to distorted neurotic and down-right pathological behaviour. We can be sure that the same is true in principle of people. City life today is definitely leading to mass mental disease, to growing vandalism and possible eruptions of mass violence.
The dialogue Bell defines the "five dimensions of the post-industrial society" as involving the following: 1 The creation of a service economy. In there were 10 cities with populations of one million or more; in the number had grown to 61; in there were over cities with populations of one million or more. Carstairs, in "Why Is Man Aggressive? For a cri du cceur against this congested condition from a French sociologist, see Jacques Ellul, The 1 technological Society, New York, , p. It no longer operates within the conservative-liberal or nationalist-internationalist framework.
The breakdown in communication between the generations — so vividly evident during the student revolts of — was rooted in the irrelevance of the old symbols' to many younger people. Debate implies the acceptance of a common frame of reference and language; since these were lacking, debate became increasingly impossible! Though currently the clash is over values — with many of the young rejecting those of their elders, who in turn contend that the young have evaded the responsibility of articulating theirs — in the future the clash between generations will be also over expertise.
Within a few years the rebels in the more advanced countries who today have the most visibility will be joined by a new generation making its claim to power in government and business: a generation trained to reason logically; as accustomed to exploiting electronic aids to human reasoning as we have been to using machines to increase our own mobility; expressing itself in a language that functionally relates to these aids; accepting as routine managerial processes current innovations such as planning-programming-budgeting systems PPBS and the appearance in high business echelons of "top computer executives.
Global Absorption But while our immediate reality is being fragmented, global reality increasingly absorbs the individual, involves him, and even occasionally overwhelms him. Communications are, the obvious, already much discussed, immediate cause. The changes wrought by communications and computers make for an extraordinarily interwoven society whose members are in continuous and close audio-visual contact — constantly interacting, instantly sharing the most intense social experiences, and prompted to increased personal involvement in even the most distant problems.
The new generation no longer defines the world exclusively on the basis of reading, either of ideologically structured analyses or of extensive descriptions; it also experiences and senses it vicariously through audio-visual communications. This form of communicating reality is growing more rapidly — especially in the advanced countries than the traditional written medium, and it provides the principal source of news for the masses see Tables The new reality, however, will not be that of a "global village.
A more appropriate analogy is that of the "global city" — a nervous, agitated, tense, and fragmented web of interdependent relations. That interdependence, however, is better characterized by interaction than by intimacy. Instant communications are already creating something akin to a global nervous system. Occasional malfunctions of this nervous system — because of blackouts or breakdowns — will be all the more unsettling, precisely because the mutual confidence and reciprocally reinforcing stability that are charac- teristic of village intimacy will be absent from the process of that "nervous" interaction.
Man's intensified involvement in global affairs is reflected in, and doubtless shaped by, the changing character of what has until now been considered local news. Television has joined newspapers in expanding the immediate horizons of the viewer or reader to the point where "local" increasingly means "national," and global affairs compete for attention on an unprecedented scale. Physical and moral immunity to "foreign" events cannot be Table i.
Hear radio news daily 50 60 65? Use television daily 80 75 65? Watch TV News 45 45 45? Favor TV as news medium 60 35 20? This condition also makes for a novel perception of foreign affairs. Even in the recent past one learned about international politics through the study of history and geography, as well as by reading newspapers. This contributed to a highly structured, even rigid, approach, in which it was convenient to categorize events or - 14 - nations in somewhat ideological terms.
Today, however, foreign affairs intrude upon a child or adolescent in the advanced countries in the form of disparate, sporadic, isolated — but involving — events: catastrophes and acts of violence both abroad and at home become intermeshed, and though they may elicit either positive or negative reactions, these are no longer in the neatly compartmentalized categories of "We" and "they.
Such direct global intrusion and interaction, however, does not make for better "understanding" of our contemporary affairs. On the contrary, it can be argued that in some respects "understanding" — in the sense of possessing the subjective confidence that one can evaluate events on the basis of some organized principle — is today much more difficult for most people to attain. Instant but vicarious participation in events evokes uncertainty, especially as it becomes more and more apparent that established analytical categories no longer adequately encompass the new circumstances.
It is simply impossible for the average citizen and even for men of intellect to assimilate and. In every scientific field complaints are mounting that the torrential outpouring of published reports, scientific papers, and scholarly articles and the proliferation of professional journals make it impossible for individuals to avoid becoming either narrow-gauged specialists or superficial generalists. The threat of intellectual fragmentation, posed by the gap between the pace in the expansion of knowledge and the rate of its assimilation; raises a perplexing question concerning the prospects -for mankind's intellectual unity.
It has generally been assumed that the modern world, shaped increasingly by the industrial and urban revolutions, will become more homogeneous in its outlook. This may be so, but it could be the homogeneity of insecurity, of uncertainty, and of intellectual anarchy. The result, therefore, would not necessarily be a more stable environment. The Ambivalent Disseminator The United States is the principal global disseminator of the technetronic revolution. It is American society that is currently having the greatest impact on all other societies, prompting a far-reaching cumulative transformation in their outlook and mores.
At various stages in history different societies have served as a catalyst for change by stimulating imitation and adaptation in others. What in the remote past Athens and Rome were to the Mediterranean world, or China to much of Asia, France has more recently been to Europe. French letters, arts, and political ideas exercised a magnetic attraction, and the French Revolution was perhaps the single most powerful stimulant to the rise of populist nationalism during the nineteenth century.
In spite of its domestic tensions — indeed, in some respects because of them see Part TV — the United States is the innovative and creative society of today. It is also a major disruptive influence on the world scene. In fact communism, which many Americans see as the principal cause of unrest, primarily capitalizes on frustrations and aspirations, whose major source is the American impact on the rest of the world.
The United States is the focus of global attention, emulation, envy, admiration, and animosity. No other society evokes feelings of such intensity; no other so-ciety's internal affairs — including America's racial and urban violence — are scrutinized with such attention; no other society's politics are followed with such avid interest — so much so that to many foreign nationals United States domestic politics have become an essential extension of their own; no other society so massively disseminates its own way of life and its values by means of movies, television, multimillion-copy foreign editions of its national magazines, or simply by its products; no other society is the object of such contradictory assessments.
The American Impact Initially, the impact of America on the world was largely idealistic: America was associated with freedom. Later the influence became more materialistic: America was seen as the land of opportunity, crassly defined in terms of dollars. Today similar material advantages can be sought elsewhere at lower personal risk, To provide one simple example, for about twenty years anticommunism provided the grand organizational principle for many Americans.
How then fit into that setting events such as the confrontation between Moscow and Peking, and, once one had become accustomed to think of Moscow as more "liberal," between Moscow and Prague? It is also estimated that "the number of books published has about doubled every twenty years since , and some 30 million have by now been published; the projected figure is 60 million by " Cyril Black, The Dynamics of Modernization, New York, , p.
Instead, America's influence is in the first instance scientific and technological, and it is a function of the scientific, technological, and educational lead of the United States. Scientific and technological development is a dynamic process. It depends in the first instance on the resources committed to it, the personnel available for it, the educational base that supports it, and — last but not least — the freedom of scientific innovation.
In all four respects the American position is advantageous; con- temporary America spends more on science and devotes greater resources to research than any other society. See Tables 4 and 5. At the beginning of the s the United States had more than 66 per cent of its age group enrolled in educational institutions; comparable figures for France and West Ger- many were about 3 1 per cent and 20 per cent, respectively. The combined populations of France, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom are equal to that of the United States — roughly two hundred million.
But in the United States 43 per cent of college-age people are actually enrolled, whereas only 7 to 15 per cent are enrolled in the four countries Italy having the low figure and France the high. The Soviet percentage was approximately half that of the American. In actual numbers there are close to seven million college students in the United States and only about one and a half million in the four European countries. At the more advanced level of the age bracket, the American figure was 12 per cent while that for West Germany, the top Western European country, was about 5 per cent.
For the age bracket, the American and the Western European levels were roughly even about 80 per cent , and the Soviet Union trailed with 57 per cent. This is true even though in many respects American education is often intellectually deficient, especially in comparison with the more rigorous standards of Western European and Japanese secondary institutions. As a percentage of gross national product, the United States' expenditure on research and development amounted to 3. The number of scientists, engineers, and technicians engaged in research and development totaled 1,, in the United States; 21 1, in Britain; 1 1 1, in France; , in Germany; 53, in Belgium and Holland; and somewhere over 1,, in the Soviet Union C.
Freeman and A.
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Source for Poland: a speech by A. Werblan, published by Polish Press Agency, October 15, The Poles expect to reach 2. It has been estimated that approximately 80 per cent of all scientific and technical discoveries made during the past few decades originated in the United States. About 79 per cent of the world's computers operate in the United States. America's lead in lasers is even more marked. Moreover, both the organizational structure and the intellectual atmosphere in the American scientific world favour experimentation and rapid social adaptation.
In a special report on American scientific policies, submitted in early , a group of experts connected with OECD concluded that America's scientific and technical enterprise is deeply rooted in American tradition and history. It is noteworthy that "the Russians themselves estimate that the productivity of their researchers is only about half the Americans' and that innovations take two or three times as long to be put into effect.
America offers to many trained scientists, even from advanced countries, not only greater material rewards but a unique opportunity for the maximum fulfillment of their talents. In the past Western writers and artists gravitated primarily toward Paris. More recently the Soviet Union and China have exercised some ideological attraction, but in neither case did it involve the movement of significant percentages of scientific elites.
Though immigrating scientists initially think of America as a platform for creative work, and not as a national society to which they are transferring political allegiance, in most cases that allegiance is later obtained through assimilation. America's professional attraction for the global scientific elite is without historic precedent in either scale or scope. Nine industrial sectors that depend heavily on innovation were surveyed i. The results showed that in the last twenty years the United States has had the highest rate of innovation, since approximately 60 per cent of the one hundred and thirty-nine inventions were first put to use in the United States 15 per cent in Great Britain, 9 per cent in Germany, 4 per cent in Switzerland, 3 per cent in Sweden.
It is striking to note, for example, that while Western Europe still slightly exceeds the United States in the number of patents registered annually, industrial application of patents is roughly eight times higher in the United States. American leadership is also marked in pure science. In an unusually assertive — but not inaccurate — report, the National Academy of Sciences stated in late that the United States enjoys world leadership in mathematics, citing as evidence that 50 per cent of the prestigious Fields" Medals awarded since went to Americans, that American mathematicians play the leading role in international mathematics congresses delivering more than 33 per cent of all scientific papers , and that American mathematical research is cited most frequently in foreign mathematics journals The New York Times, November 24, American preponderance in Nobel Prizes in Physics, Chemistry, and Medicine has also become more marked.
Between and the respective figures were 42, 50, 6, 8, and 2. How can one fail to hope that these benefits, which have in fact contributed so much to national defense or the race for world prestige, will make an essential contribution to the achievement of other great national goals? It is this propulsion which has given science, the mother of knowledge, the appearance of a veritable national resource. The enterprise is indissolubly linked to the goals of American society, which is trying to build its future on the progress of science and technology.
In this capacity, this society as a whole is a consumer of scientific knowledge, which is used for diverse ends: in the last century, to increase agricultural pro- ductivity and to facilitate territorial development, and then to back the national defense effort, to safeguard public health and to explore space. These are activities which have an impact on the destiny of the whole nation, and it seems natural that all skills should be mobilized to cooperate. In this way industry and the universities and private organizations are associated with the Government project" conclusion of a report prepared by the Secretariat of the OECD, January , as quoted by The New York Times, January 13, , p.
Piore, vice president and chief scientist of I. It is symptomatic that in the early s, 44 per cent of the Pakistani students studying at institutions of higher education in fifteen foreign countries were studying in the United States; 59 per cent of the Indians; 32 per cent of the Indonesians; 56 per cent of the Burmese; 90 per cent of the Filipinos; 64 per cent of the Thais; and 26 percent of the Cey-lonese Gunnar Myrdal, Asian Drama, New York, , p.
In the United States granted 10, M. In that same year 10, scientific, engineering, and medical personnel from the developed countries emigrated to the United States "The Brain-Drain of - 17 - Though this attraction is likely to decline for Europeans particularly because of America's domestic problems and partially because of Europe's own scientific advance , the success of J.
Servan-Schreiber's book, The American Challenge, reflects the basic inclination of concerned Europeans to accept the argument that the United States comes closest to being the only truly modern society in terms of the organization and scale of its economic market, business administration, research and development, and education. In contrast, the structure of American government is viewed as strikingly antiquated. European sensitivity in this area is conditioned not only by fear of a widening American technological lead but very much by the increasing presence on the European markets of large American firms that exploit their economic advantages of scale and superior organization to gradually acquire controlling interests in key frontier industries.
The presence of these firms, the emergence under their aegis of something akin to a new international corporate elite, the stimulation given by their presence to the adoption of American business practices and training, the deepening awareness that the so- called technology gap is. Less tangible but no less pervasive is the American impact on mass culture, youth mores, and life styles. The higher the level of per-capita income in a country, the more applicable seems the term "Americanization.
Nonetheless, to the extent that these forms were first applied in America and then "exported" abroad, they became symbolic of the American impact and of the innovation-emulation relationship prevailing between America and the rest of the world. What makes America unique in our time is that confrontation with the new is part of the daily American experience. For better or for worse, the rest of the world learns what is in store for it by observing what happens in the United States: whether it be the latest scientific discoveries in space and medicine or the electric toothbrush in the bathroom; pop art or LSD; air conditioning or air pollution; old-age problems or juvenile delinquency.
The evidence is more elusive in such matters as style, music, values, and social mores, but there too the term "Americanization" obviously implies a specific source. Similarly, foreign students returning from American universities have prompted an organizational and intellectual revolution in the academic life of their countries. Changes in the academic life of Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan; and more recently France, and to an even greater extent in the less developed countries, can be traced to the influence of American educational institutions.
Given developments in modern communications, it is only a matter of time before students at Columbia University and, say, the University of Teheran will be watching the same lecturer simultaneously. This is all the more likely because American society, more than any other, "communicates" with the entire globe. Moreover, the United States has been most active in the promotion of a global communications system by means of satellites, and it is pioneering the development of a world-wide information grid.
It is expected that such a grid will come into being by about New Imperialism? All of these factors make for a novel relationship between the United States and the world. There are imperial overtones to it, and yet in its essence the relationship is quite different from the traditional imperial structure. To be sure, the fact that in the aftermath of World War II a number of nations were directly dependent on the United States in matters of security, politics, and economics created a system that in many respects, including that of scale, superficially resembled the British, Roman, and Chinese empires of the past.
The "imperial" aspect of the relationship was, in the first instance, a transitory and rather spontaneous response to the vacuum created by World War II and to the subsequent felt threat from communism. Moreover, it was neither formally structured nor explicitly legitimized. The "empire" was at most an informal system marked by the pretense of equality and non-interference.
This made it easier for the "imperial" attributes to recede once conditions changed. Moreover, within the next decade the value of information export from the United States to Europe will exceed the value of material exports.
- The Places You Go: Caring for Your Congregation Monday through Saturday.
- Germ Cells.
- Globalizing Afghanistan: Terrorism, War, and the Rhetoric of Nation Building (American encounters/global interactions)!
- I. “So That’s Just One Of My Losses”.
- Kohlberg's Moral Stages.
Its place had been filled by the more pervasive but less tangible influence of American economic presence and innovation as they originated directly from the United States or were stimulated abroad by American foreign investment the latter annually yielding a product considerably in excess of the gross national product of most major countries. American influence has a porous and almost invisible quality. It works through the interpenetration of economic institutions, the sympathetic harmony of political leaders and parties, the shared concepts of sophisticated intellectuals, the mating of bureaucratic interests.
It is, in other words, something new in the world, and not yet well understood. To see that relationship merely as the expression of an imperial drive is to ignore the part played in it by the crucial dimension of the technological- scientific revolution.