THE NEW REALITIES
Peter F. Drucker
Provocative, wide-angle perspectives on contemporary sociopolitical and economic issues from a wise old head who has long since transcended his status as a management guru. Eschewing futurism. Drucker focuses on the present in hopes of setting an agenda for "the next century," which, he argues persuasively, began quietly at some point between 1965 and 1973. In the author's view, the fact that a watershed was reached and passed confirms the need to address and to comprehend the new age's still unfamiliar realities. Accepting his own challenge, Drucker seeks to define the concerns and controversies "that will be realities for years to come." In this ambitious context, he offers perceptive commentary on the implications of developments ranging from the imminent decolonization of Soviet Russia through the mobility of so-called knowledge workers, the transnational character of ecology as well as economics, and recognition of institutional limits. Among the principal obstacles to a genuine understanding of a shrinking world's altered circumstances, Drucker contends, are the very successes of the past--e.g., the welfare and fiscal states. In like vein, he warns that yesteryear's shopworn commitments and slogans (which still dominate public discourse) tend to restrict the global village's vision and impede its forward progress. As one consequence, the author concludes, an important responsibility of government will be to set the standards for the powerful and autonomous institutions on which a pluralist society's well-being depends; in his opinion, government should also curb the potential of small minorities (whether NRA members in the US or rice growers in Japan) for tyranny. Judgment calls and analyses that are (for a welcome change) trenchant, not trendy.