It is this absence of a functioning industrial society, able to integrate our industrial reality, that underlies the crises of our times.
Man in his social and political existence must have a functioning society just as he must have air to breathe in his biological existence. However, the fact that man has to have a society does not necessarily mean that he has it. Nobody calls the mass of unorganized, panicky, stampeding humanity in a shipwreck a “society.” There is no society, though there are human beings in a group. Actually, the panic is directly due to the breakdown of a society; and the only way to overcome it is by restoring a society with social values, social discipline, social power, and social relationships.
Social life cannot function without a society; but it is conceivable that it does not function at all. The evidence of the last twenty-five years of Western civilization hardly entitles us to say that our social life functioned so well as to make out a prima-facie case for the existence of a functioning society.
ACTION POINT: The passage above was written during World War II. It recognized that after centuries of industrial advance there had not been a similar advance in other institutions of society. Should the economic dimension of society ever take supremacy over the human, social, and political dimensions?
The Future of Industrial Man
* Source: The Daily Drucker by Peter F. Drucker