Wednesday, 23 April 2014
Dear Abhay, This is an extract from Konrad Lorenz's "The Waning of Humaneness"(Unwin Books, 1987, Original German 1983)
It must be the goal of democracy to arrive at a compromise between maintaining the order that a gigantic number of people make absolutely necessary and preserving those freedoms for individual action which belong to the rights of man. Achieving this high goal through legislation is much more difficult than most honest democrats are willing to admit. Even if the effectiveness of democracy were not undermined by the power of large industries at work behind the scenes, there would still remain the virtually insurmountable difficulties of converting, in a just way, what the voters most desire into the actions taken by those for whom they have voted. Large populations mean that there are too many voters and too few people to be voted for. Even within a morally irreproachable, truly democratic government, too much power is is concentrated in the hands of a very few people. Very few people, however intelligent and morally faultless the may be, are capable of preserving their whole humaneness once they are in positions of power. The delusions of Caesar are symptoms of a very real illness. In an industrial society an increase of what is owned also signifies an increase of power; this cannot be prevented. In our mass-society world with a free enterprise economy it is inevitable that smaller business ventures with their limited capital will lose out in competition with larger companies.It is clear that with continued advances in technology, the largest producers will eventually control everything. It is an error to believe that the world is governed by politicians. Behind them stand the real tyrants, the large manufacturing corporations. When the armaments race continues on both sides of the iron curtain despite all summit meetings and disarmament talks, this happens not because the Russians and Americans fear each other but because industry PROFITS thereby.
Together with the continued advances of technology has gone a commensurate development in the organization of human society. Complicated social organization had to be devised to complement and accommodate the complicated machinery. They were necessary so that the production apparatus could run smoothly and without friction. In order to fit themselves into this organization, individuals have to become de-individualized. In order to fulfill exactly specified functions, they must make themselves over into automatons. Millions of completely "normal" humans live frictionlessly in a society against which they should, if they were really to stand on their rights as humans, revolt. Although they continue to uphold the illusion of their individuality, they have already actually relinquished a great part of their freedom. Their continued assent to the present social order can only lead imperceptible to a further loss of individuality.
And please also try to see a film "Antitrust"