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When. The next. 15 years. In science they are on deck manager Herb remember and you will see rapid change during the next 50 years. National Education radio presents a series of programs expressing a variety of opinions on the future of the democratic environment. Plays were given of the 50th year conference of the American Institute of planners held in Washington in October of last year. In attendance was any army public affairs director Bill Greenwood.
This is the sixth in our series of 13 programs dealing with America's needs in planning for development during the next 50 years. This week the future of American society a discussion concerning the necessity and difficulty of planning the future society as well as a discussion of the new factor in American society. To speak on those two broad topics will be two of the most distinguished thinkers of our day. Swedish socio economist Dr. Carle Gunnar mirror ball and American writer David by Salon. Our first speaker will be Dr. Carl Gunnar Mirrorball professor at the Institute for International Economics studies in Stockholm Sweden. Dr. Meir it all although best known as a sociologist is also recognized as an expert in the field of economics. Economics is his primary discipline. He is author of the book American dilemma a
searching work on the Negro problem within the United States of America. Many of Dr. Meir dolls keen observations were shared during the American Institute of planners conference on the next 50 years to share those remarks with our listeners now. We present Dr. Carl Gunnar mirrored all I'm supposed to speak about the necessity and the difficult step plenty about the necessity I believe that a pretty foresight and planning action to improve the outcome of the development that we foresee particularly action to abduct the interests ahead is the essence of whatever little rationality that is in human life. But what we mean by plenty and what all those in America who are left out of the ladder get to planning also mean is a determined effort through our democratic institutions for collective decisions to make very much more intensive comprehensive and long range for cost the future tense than we have been
customary and that after to formulate and execute a system of coordinated policies framed to have the effect of bending the foreseen trends to watch the realizing our ideals spend spelled out in advance as definite goals for planning. Conceiving of this approaches where we have to adjust to things as they develop. But nevertheless having the vision and that type of plan. When we now look on reality let's start with the word almost total absence of planning. It's of course but clearly flag in regard to international relations in my life time. The word is that if they didn't the two world wars planned by no one. We might not be on the UN charted course to watch the third and more final world bar in which incidentally the United States
will not as the earlier ones escape destruction and the slaughter of civilians. In this precarious situation. The world is today spending as much or more on minor wars and on war preparation as the sum total of the National incomes in all underdeveloped countries where the majority of mankind lives. They protected our attempts to negotiate the need for national agreement on disarmament or at least to decrease some armament have been for all practical purposes a failure. The preparations for war through amassing of armaments have steadily increased and are increasing today. But all countries are trying to do for their own security increases the danger for all that is for mankind. Every planet must also feel intensely anxious when contemplating that friends in the great majority of mankind will live in the underdeveloped countries
we are scaping their understanding but there is a color complex in world politics everywhere not only in this country but in the whole world is the poor who are colored and it's the white who are rich and what I fear more than anything else is that in our unplanned an unchartered way of running a foreign policy their class conflict the international class conflict will be poisoned by the color element. I think there are some very serious dangers. For that you know what development dominated by the major issues I've tried to characterize ECU conflicts explode continuously as for instance most recently the war in Middle East. When things go wrong in the world and the settlement is not reached it has become customary to complain about the failure of the international organizations and particularly
United Nations. These complaints are in my opinion misdirected. The United Nation is not a world government and will not be a world government which can tax and legislature in our time and in foreseeable future. It is nothing more than I carried the instruments for national diplomacy. Which does not mean that it's unimportant. The failures complained about are failures of the member states to reach agreements for 10 years I was directing an international organization in a very crucial part of the border in Europe. For the West and the United Nations and of course I have. I could give a long series of lectures every time there where compromises or agreements possible which were avoided because the government side Pennywise are penny wise and pound foolish and certainly they have their people behind them
and I have often reflected on the fact that big business in their deals shows so much more than mutual confidence and consternation than governments do so much more. What I would like to call rational generosity. This implies that we have to move to a policy of the national government in order to reach an understanding of why the ward situation is permitting to lift on land in the sauce to dissuade it which I did. There is a further important reason to now go to national policies and let this that what happens to international relations distorts efforts at planning even in the more narrow national conception of planning. But let me first keep the national policy in the national field. In my. Paper I take up for spatial discussion a thing which I've been looking into. Peace Research Institute which we are founding in
Sweden to call my mother eight hundred fifty years of peace instead of having a stone monument to the disarmament negotiations. Every government in the world. And your not least of all who is accustomed to higher authority can. Make moving appeals about the tremendous dangers which are ahead of us. If we cannot start. Disarm but when it comes to taking a small step it looks over the shoulder. At home there are nationalistic groups and all of being many in these countries and there are but President Eisenhower called the military industrial complex which has an interest in promoting peace groups and because of that you are not prepared to take the necessary steps. You also brought your government and the negotiators to manage press
releases and other information to the people in a way which is not truthful. Because they must feel. That the enduring of the quality of home. From here I have reason to stress a thing which will be which is a theme in my paper namely that the fundamental condition for any type of planning does not I mean yes to make schemes and have the vote of the people I mean who believe in it. Excellent scheme but it is to reach the people in this country. You might put the blame on Congress but the Congress is probably the parliamentary body in the world I know which is most sensitive for public opinion. Its the people who are unenlightened. And then you have the difficulty. Let me continue I must mention the Vietnam War American. In their long course of events over 20
years. Which just led to the present situation of the American large scale warfare in in Vietnam. This problem can be discussed in terms of whether commitments and rules in the Constitution the charter of the United Nations seven or eight international agreements and more specifically. Commitments in relation to the Geneva settlement whether they have been broken it can be analyzed as a moral issue. And that is how it's. Discussed very much in blog and which is creating the modern political isolation of the present American policy and government. It can also be discussed in terms of its many side effects in America in the southeast and in the rest of the world. In the present context I will skip all this important material issues and stress only one thing that this war has developed in a completely
unplanned way as a destiny in the sense of the classic that almost no one is sharing responsibility for the individual decisions during the almost 20 years that the lead up to the present situation mandate the development to take the toll it took and have the resources to pay this is just the simple fact which I think will not be denied by anybody whatever the U.S. has only by having to be brief. Am I prevented from going over other parts of American foreign policy even when. The policy was wise and well considered. There were other policies at the same time which distorted their effects and. Managed that foreign policy was not what we planners mean it carefully planned policy. It is a hugh problem to which I think much more intensive research should be directed. Why particularly foreign policy is so.
Unpleasant. One obvious fact is that the democratic government that's not God and that the Persians elected and appointed for directing foreign policy have the moral and intellectual capacities that are required. I do not need to stress the dictatorships even less of such a God but at the bottom again I want to stress the crucial causis that the general public is ignorant gullible to nationalistic pressure groups and often actually seeking in the foreign policy executes an outlet for their pent up hostility and I get a sickness which they have often at least to some extent learn to suppress in their own home relations in the human relations within their own countries. The important lesson for us plan is this that if in foreign policy field planning is insufficient bad or totally lacking the explanation is in the end. And
unlike the nation. Any improvement in planning needs as a necessary precondition and massive adult education drive directed towards increasing popular knowledge about the facts and strengthening popular faith to watch our goals our ideals. I've given so much emphasize to the problem of planning in the foreign policy field because whatever failure of planning in this field we permit to exist as grevious consequences for our planning in the national feed. We should be well aware of this as we now observe the serious repercussions for national planning in the unplanned American war in Vietnam. These repercussions are of two types. First. When our unplanned policy implies a deviation. What a falsification of our ideals. This weakens the whole volitional basis for planning in all fields. Walls force in particular have a deteriorating
model effect on people. So this is then add to the economic and financial effects. Yes of course this unplanned foreign policy effects must regularly imply distortions of both ends and means in the national life that makes national planning more difficult and less effective. But even apart and leaving now this international considerations which are important to me it is difficult to see much successful planning on a national scale in the United States. It is a fact that must make the planners disheartened that most of the time we are all overwhelmed by events even within our nation that we should have foreseen and against which we should have taken. The land policy measures in order to cope with them more successfully and one example is of course the negro rebellion. Again I'm prevented by the limits of presentation from going into any analysis of that important problem. The point I want to Stacey's
in this context is that the negro rebellion very apparently came as a surprise not only to the American people at large but also to those responsible for American policy in this field which of course should not have been necessary. And I must say that when I'm thinking of this larger group of academic people my colleagues they must not they must. Either have been sleeping or for some other reason not done their duty to inform the American people what was happening what was going to happen. From a planet's point of view I might add two more points. There is no in America. It's certain that they will demand they will bring on certainty but to what extent we should rely on police power to suppress that imbalance and to what extent. At the same time we should take remedial actions in order to improve the social and economic conditions that are the root
of that are better. This uncertainty is the more devastating for national planning as if it inflicts imbalance among the people in regard to the ideals and goals that are fundamental value premises for planning. My second point is the following and that I think all planners really get with me assuming that it is decided the social economic conditions that are the root of the nigger rebellion should be improved. The planning of policy measures for that purpose cannot be this that it did rationally to what can be done for the making and then further assuming that the medication not prepared to plan for going the way of South Africa African type of apartheid policy which we would be in blunt contradiction to the American ideal switch for this conference if taken as basis for your discussion. Low poverty and all the poverty implies that's a major incidence on the population. The poverty stricken
niggers are only a third or fourth of those who live in miserable situation depending on where you draw the line already for technical reasons Moreover improvement of Negro housing must be plentiful. Bottom general housing policy the same is true of schooling and improvement of all of the conditions of life. To be successful in stamping out discrimination against Negroes in the labor market a precondition is full employment economy where there whites are not unemployed. I feel sure that every planet agrees with these conclusions. This implies that the problem we are facing is how to solve by national planning general poverty problem in America. If you want to be rational we cannot really study policy measures the negatives. Even if it's that a billion of that particular group in the American underclass that that's given urgency to the problem as we all know even before the nigger rebellion that wider problem had been race and in the legacy which President
Johnson took over from Kennedy to three days off the kind of this death this was prevented and day he came out with an emphatic demand for an unconditional war against poverty and in order to create the great society these declarations where however not followed by any attempt to put had a comprehensive the practical plan for how to do it. But by themself of course these declarations are very much in line with a cherished American ideals of liberty justice and equality on which this conference proceeds. It's however also a part of American history and tradition that the majority of Americans who are well-off secure and consequently I just did this but disappointing to the national community have a get on accustomed to living on happily without giving much thought to enclaves of people living in the city. So they submerged under clause you have a great number of other people. You have
Indians which has never been integrated really in America. You have Mexicans you have many of the Asians. You have still less well integrated white immigrant get ups particular from eastern to Southern Europe and also a large number a large number of older Americans who have remained or become poor whites or white trash. This is the reason why this African society has also been and is today the country of the hue rule and urban slums. The various policy actions are rapidly improvised on the poverty problem where spurious not always well administered. And as I said certainly not founded upon a carefully planned it plan or an integration of long term national effort to realize the demands of the national ideals. Nevertheless of course we planners were happy about that program because we saw in that the beginning of an intellectual and moral tough
policies in the American nation which would make the give us greater possibilities in the future. Now of course what has actually happened is we all know is that under the influence of the large scale American war in Vietnam the air has gone out of the poverty problem. Least of all it has opened up the new opportunities for real planning that we could have hoped for towards the end of the candidates even the beginning of the youngsters. In the field of national economic planning in the matter on meaning of the term stable and fairly rapid growth of the economy the first half of the present the Kaid represented at remarkable advance the so-called Can nation policy prescriptions were finally accepted fairly commonly even in America and even in business not least in business so imply that overcoming a many superstitious ideas related to budget balancing and go into these should represents more permanent alterations of public opinion making
rational planning more feasible even in the future. Unfortunately while we made great advances in getting the need for measures aimed at stimulating yet relatively stagnant economy. And accepted it we did not have the same success in impressing the necessity of preventing the economy from running into an inflation of development. And again the Vietnam War played when they played havoc with the national planning. Moreover we tend not to rationally as planners just want the economic good of lending much the race the question good 05 what and for what the WHO long term poverty program should have been included in such a case. Stimulating the economy mainly by lowering taxes would not have been seem it would not seem to the planet to be a satisfactory solution. I have the feeling at breakfast today i've been said that perhaps accelerated. Let em on all planets the seed the planets
form a nucleus of experienced planets planning experts. And America needs you the planets and that this conference and that they for this is where I perhaps have accepted the situation that for decades they had much less prestige and ever generally escaped than in most of the games planning which has been supplanted in America. Anyhow during my traveling in these countries I have also very often seen pieces of accomplishments science and art the planning that has impressed me though as we all know not all Arbonne renewal and Urban Development has been the health has had health or overall results. But the calling of this national consultation you have aimed at something much more ambitious namely a national planning for I quote creative development of the environment. Our society and our people over the next 50 years and you have demanded the academic articulation of national goals and of policies and programs to
implement the philosophy implied in the schools and in making him much a man like me to be pressing them to speak. You have underlined this much more ambitious conception of the planning we need. As I said I'm impressed by many of the examples of city planning I've come across. But when I think of the metropolitan areas this total entities and the people living that is part of the whole nation. It's less possible to feel that we have made much progress if any except on a small scale in individual cases under the pressure of the masses of poor people not only Nicolas moving into the cities at an accelerating space. Why the better off people are moving out the inner core of many big cities in the United States have been continually deteriorating and auditorily think today as we all know this is true and all aspects of human life within that confidence in spite of the effort. I've often devoted and highly competent officials at
the schools for example are on the average probably not improving much and or in many cases actually becoming worse. The same is true about housing and everything else. About the planning problem or what should be done to reverse this serious trend let me just remind you of what we have to do in general when we know that the development of all kinds of means of transportation will have to be a radical it redirected because the s the knowledge developed they've developed under the influence of the type of urban situation which you have at tremendous construction and reconstruction problem must be solved. Indeed the whole material frame of life has to be rebuilt including home streets parks playgrounds public building facilities of all etc.. As I already mentioned national rational policies cannot be confined to improving conditions for one group of poor people that's when you might be given a much more general school. We know more over that the toughest problem would be to
rehabilitate the human inside of the slums to lift people out of cultural impoverishment. What I used to call the slum mindedness. In this very brief reference to the planning problem of improving our urban environment let me only touch upon the financial issues involved with the unplanned development we have behind us and the situation that has become that assault of that unplanned development. It is in the logic of things that the administers given fiscal divisions of the country must be altered in the typical case they are now split off. The inner city inhabited mostly by poor people in many places from the suburbs where the better to live and I look text think old school even after the creation are more functional in the normal case big are administered to unit there are systems of taxation like those of the states must be reformed to permit larger taxation in things and even after such administer even
fiscal reforms the federal government must stand for much larger financial contributions when boding the fiscal basis for policy in this race. Standards of schooling and everything else must become unified and enforced. I don't need to remind you that all such reforms meet the resistance but rudely based powerful vested interests. And this of course is the explanation why so little in this direction had been accomplished and why the inner cities have been left in it to rape. And when we need to video cases that has been improvement this is been supported and added together. The financial cost to the nation of rebuilding their cities and rehabilitating the slum population must on any account amount to you. Sometimes I have seen no detail in practical plans on a national scale for what needs to be done to salvage American cities. And no summing up of what such a detailed practical
planning would imply in costs in financial terms. But such calculations should be made. They are needed for the graduate education of the American people to the magnitude of the task and I would put myself in the observation that when at this conference you take up the national problem what America should do the course Securitate the development of our environment our society and our people. This implies a commitment to think in these times and to make these cancellations from my general knowledge of the proportions in the American economy. I don't know the conclusion and this is not planning but I draw the conclusion that the costs would amount to trillions of dollars and in a reliable plant added to educate the plants in the slums and rabidly hate the slum dwellers. We need to be at all realistic. Even in the best case have to reckon in terms of at least one generation. I don't want a further conclusion that in this light the common idea that America is sentimental
Slieve reach an affluent country which remains in every newspaper. It's very much an excess of. American Affluence heavily mortage I've said that American medicine is a heavily marketed piece of realestate America carries a tremendous burden of debt to its poor people. That these debt must be paid. It's not only a wish of the do gooders not paying it implies that a respect for social order and for democracy as we have known it.
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The next fifty years
The Future American Society
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WAMU-FM (Radio station : Washington, D.C.)
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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For series info, see Item 3455. This prog.: The Future American Society: Karl Gunnar Myrdal, David Bazelon
Social Issues
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Producing Organization: WAMU-FM (Radio station : Washington, D.C.)
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University of Maryland
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Duration: 00:29:53
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Chicago: “The next fifty years; The Future American Society,” 1968-07-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 29, 2024,
MLA: “The next fifty years; The Future American Society.” 1968-07-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 29, 2024. <>.
APA: The next fifty years; The Future American Society. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from