The Future of Industrial Man

By Peter F. DruckerJOHN DAY
IT IS obviously easier to analyze a past that is historically finished than to describe a future that is still in a very embryonic stage of development. So one naturally finds less concrete exposition and more general reflection in this new book than in the author’s keen and penetrating study of the totalitarian state, The End of Economic Man. However, Mr. Drucker, an Austrian economist now resident in this country, reveals in his present work the qualities that won the applause of a discriminating audience for its predecessor. He possesses a fund of historical and economic knowledge; his mind does not follow conventional grooves; his style eschews the cliché and achieves frequent paradoxes and occasional profundity. Mr. Drucker addresses himself to what is certainly one of the most permanent and most fundamental problems of our time: the adjustment of the human being to an increasingly mechanized age. He believes that the answer lies neither in a return to nineteenth-century laissezfaire nor in all-out planning by an omnipotent state, but in “the organization of industry on the basis of local and decentralized self-government.” And he makes a plausible point when he suggests that the new order is being formed now, under the pressure of war, that it cannot be postponed until the dim and uncertain date when the world will again be at peace. W. H. C.