What will happen when the age-old economy of scarcity gives way to the Age of Leisure? Professor Gabor, who won the 1971...

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THE MATURE SOCIETY

What will happen when the age-old economy of scarcity gives way to the Age of Leisure? Professor Gabor, who won the 1971 Nobel Prize for physics offers a futuristic projection based on a static population and GNP, ""classless, democratic, and uniformly rich."" Fearful that total secruity ""will create unbearable boredom and bring out the worst in Irrational Man,"" Gabor is anxious to retain ""effort,"" ""hardship,"" and the Protestant Ethic -- lest society dissolve in an orgy of anti-social, hedonistic nihilism (viz. the current drug explosion and the spoiled-brat students). To avoid such evils Gabor proposes that work and its attendant moral uplift be divorced from production and the service sector of the economy be vastly enlarged. But this is only the beginning -- enthusiastic about Social Engineering Gabor suggests using it to weed out potential misfits, trouble-makers and ""power addicts""; supplementing I.Q. tests with E.Q. (Ethical Quotient) measurements; and modeling elementary and secondary education on the 19th century British public school which knew so well how to inculcate good citizenship, intellectual excellence and pride in achievement. The Third World, still wrestling with pre-industrial material want, is ignored -- since we can't afford any more industrial pollution presumably they will just have to adjust to their misery. Gabor's assessment of ""the Nature of Man"" shows a woefully naive Anglo-American ethnocentricity and complete ignorance of anthropology and his vision of post-industrial utopia operating on the moral axioms of the 19th century is as elitist as it is improbable.

Pub Date: Aug. 10, 1972

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Praeger

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1972