The next fifty years; The Future American Society, pt. II
For. The next 50 years. Thanks to science they are. Tech managers over members. We'll see rapid changes during the next 50 years. National Educational radio presents a series of programs expressing a variety of opinions on the future of the democratic environment. These mirrors were given of the 50 of near grant from the American Institute of planners held in Washington in October of last year. In attendance was any public affairs director Bill Greenwood.
This is the seventh in our 13 week series of programs dealing with the needs of America for development during the next 50 years. This week we continue a discussion of the theme the future of American society a discussion that has featured during the past two weeks such distinguished thinkers as socio economist Carla Gunn are mere Dall and writers social critic David teabag salon. So all that you may better understand this week's program. We should tell you it will involve a series of reactions to the presentations of doctors mere dollar and basil on to comment on their previously delivered papers will be Attorney James W. rouse clergyman the Reverend J.B. Langmaid Casserly and psychologist Richard L. Cutler There will also be some rebuttal remarks from doctors Mirrorball and basil on. I'll have more details on the background of our speakers in a few moments. First for the benefit of those listeners who may have
missed the program last week a brief summary of Dr. Mira dollar and Dr. Basil Lon's main premises in the case of Carl Gunnar mirrored all the Swedish economist he views the United States as a nation woefully lacking in a planned domestic and foreign policy. He said last week President Johnson seems to formulate policy from one crisis to the next. Dr. Merritt often feels the lack of positive aggressive planning on a national level will continue to Kendall the fires of racial discord and unrest. He feels that until the administration comes to a more positive grip with the problems at home and abroad there can be more rioting in American cities and more so called diplomatic bungling abroad. In short he viewed the problems as grave and urged more extensive planning on a political level to meet the challenges of the next 50 years. Also last week listeners heard writer David T
bassline speak on the technological implications of future advances in our society. Mr. Basil on the renowned social critic suggested technology does not change the society but rather can destroy it. He said what the United States is doing today is nearly obscene. He views the stress on technological development as a successful attempt to construct a positive production machine and then to tell everyone including the builders themselves how good a machine it is. The next step he says is for the builders to figure out what to do with the machine. The social scientist said clearly the technological system as a whole must be viewed as an instrument a tool must be cared for by people but not worshiped by them he said. There comes the problem in the mind of David basil on that the tools of the system are in reality millions of highly trained minds not interconnected
properly. He also claims too often these interconnected tools the people if you will are content to crawl into the safety of their corners. This is the problem to be overcome in the next 50 years. But how do other great thinkers react to the remarks of doctors mere doll and basil on. That is the subject of this program. Our first featured analyst is James W. rouse an attorney mortgage banker and developer of the model city in Columbia Maryland. Here are the remarks so that you know beating Baltimore Maryland planner. I. Would like briefly to make two points that come to me through reading the brilliant papers that we've heard and then hearing them again and hearing them in part let me say to you I would urge you to grab hold of them and read them fully because they are extraordinarily perceptive pieces. The two points that I would make and there related are first that.
We. We seem somehow not. Adequately to perceive. A new condition a new force. Potentially a new revolution that is among us in these immediate years. And not force not easily described. I would describe as the. Tremendous increase in man's concern for the dignity of man. This is this prevailing tide and it's not an argument. It's not an intellectual idea. It's a surging tide that moves among us in the world today. And that it has within it the potential for transformation of much of. I wouldn't say despair but certainly uncomfortable not that it seems to me we're left with by the suggestions of the two papers before us.
If we go back a little bit just stand apart from these years enough to look back and it's hard to do but look back a dozen years and see Martin Luther King walking that lonely road in Montgomery Alabama. And realize the tremendous burst that's occurred in the whole what we call the civil rights movement but really relates to a surging demand not only of the Negro but but of his white brothers as well to declare and win his full dignity among us in this very short space of time. And if we look at the same time almost the sweeping away of colonialism and the rise and system rise of the independent nations in the world. If we look back only six or eight years ago to the incredible calling of the Ecumenical Council and the tremendous movement through religion in these half a dozen years to to. Break down
the barriers that separate man from his God. That you know all of these things and many others prevailing among us. There is an insistent demand that barriers that separate man from man institutions that the great man be demolished. And this is the message of the youth that David bassline referred to. This is a very different kind of I don't know I've only had. Had one 21 year old son but I'm very aware of what of what David was saying. This isn't don't wild idea responsible kind of spirit among these young people this is a deep concern about mankind. This is a protest against what they call middle class. This within the norm is change in the
quality of leadership and the quality of the new class and the new power that David referred to how riots are only a symptom. Of a much deeper surging change that that's occurring in America and the world and it relates to the war that that Dr. Murdo referred to as well as to what happens in this country. We could we could see and I would predict that that we will see. Such a surging protest arising out of this basic dignity of man. That we will overthrow the process of war within our time. The discontent with our cities is deeper than in the inner city. It relates to protest against loneliness and store all day in the suburbs as well as against oppression and grimness and in the in the slums.
And the second point. That I would make relating to that first is. That yes amid all said that he sees no detailed plans on a national scale to do anything appropriate to the size of the problem in the American city he could have said more he could have said that he could find no detailed plan and one single American city to do anything in scale with the problem that the city faces. And this brings us to the state of mind that we say as individuals as planners as businessmen as ministers professors. How about our cities. It's fundamentally a state of mind that doesn't believe we really are going to do anything about it. It's a state of mind that says we are continuing to build a bridge that nobody ever expects to see the end as we launch one program after another. And it's against that kind of state of mind that now comes this new spirit of
revolution about man's dignity towards man. It comes at a time when we have really developed forge one of the tools necessary to remake the American city and this revolution comes at a point of time when it will insist that there be a change in our state of mind. And simply that change simply the conviction that in any American city that we can make it into what we really wanted to be and what we believe would be an appropriate environment for the growth of the people who live there we can do it so that. We are a real problem and your environment problem. Approach the environment the next 50 years is to get out of the trap that we've forced ourselves in by by our own myth. That the city can't really be a workable socially viable place.
It can be and I think that we will be. You could in history maybe looking back on this 50 years hence we will see that we lived in a time. In which patiently through it through the oar impatiently not impatient enough maybe through the 40s and 50s we forged tools which now with this with this surging concern among older people and now among young people who become this future new class we will develop the will to pick up those tools and to make the American city into what truly we can easily make it in. That was Baltimore city developer and mortgage banker James W. rouse another speaker to react to previous statements on America's needs during the next 50 years as a British clergyman. He is the Reverend J.V. Langmaid Casserly ordained in the Anglican Church in 1934. He taught sociology in
England. He became Professor of Theology at the general theological seminary in Seabury England and he was a well-read Church author. Here are the remarks of the rubber and J.V. Langmaid Casserly. One of the great difficulties about attending a conference in this age of convergence is that if you come 24 hours on the down on the program almost everything you agree with has been said. Now Teddy has again it was otherwise. Practically everything you said you just agreed with which meant that you can contribute to the discussion very easily. However I don't want to dot I's all across. To. You. But I will try one of two notions I think in the hope that I would have not yet written. I'm going to begin with the qualification on optimism which Dr. Laird tried to impart.
It is very important to qualify optimism Scientifically that's obviously true. Like many people I think Dr. metal has a rather exaggerated idea of the extent to which Americans are optimistic. I think most Americans are optimistic about whatever it is that they're interested in but they're rather pessimistic and defeated about what anybody else is interested in. And this is a point for us the majority of Americans on the planet. So they're not optimistic about what youre interested in which I think is an important point. I suppose there must always be a distinction between pragmatist planet whose operative question is how to get from here to there and vision are is the sociological kind rather like Maestro. I am a vision of it as my next book is a vision or a book. I was trying to say well this is a you're saying this is a very big program.
And in a way you got it once. My problem before you can I'm your problem. You got to have some sort of up proximate idea where there is before you can deal with the question how to get from here. One of the great confusion is the confusion between the serious visionary and the utopian. Utopian realities asking the question What would I have done if I had been God this is not a vision or a Christian vision or a question Is it out of the question of what is the best possibility that I see in the present situation pregnant. I focused on the best the highest the best the richest possibilities and then of course I suppose in a kind of prophetic generosity of mood I come pretty near to predicting it knowing very well that in fact it will not come off a hundred percent.
Remember if the utopian doesn't come off 100 percent but if the visionary energy comes off 50 percent you can reasonably hold himself to succeed because he never expected to come under the sun in the first place. Hans gentleness in his very interesting book the phenomenology of life which he obviously visualise is a criticism of the Shah then criticised the shot ends up timid because he said the scientific fact is that it's about 50/50. It could come off and it may not. Time to shot and was dead at the time Genesis book was published. So I have to make his reply for him but I believe it is what he would have replied. I think he would have said I represent the convergence of science and say it is my science which enables me to see the possibility but I agree if we think merely scientifically it's 50/50. It is faith that enables me to say that I have believe
that in fact the best possibility that science can perceive is coming out and I don't pretend for one moment that scientifically demonstrable completion. I think I would say the same as a Christian vision or it. I guess I believe in the future because I believe in God. And I guess when I say I believe in the future. I really mean I believe in God. And I guess when I say I believe in God I really mean I believe in the future. So in this age of convergence you notice that again and again you come to a conference and the religious man the irreligious men talk religiously about the irreligious and the religious man talk here it is really about their religion. This is a great age of consent. It does make interesting discussion difficult though I hope it doesn't make fruitful discussion impossible. Now I want to just go wrong
to throw in one nation which has not yet appeared and I think is a very important one in two opposites. My sociological experience is mainly demographic. I'm primarily a demographer as long as you think of me in the sociological context and I would say the best part of this interesting thing that's happening in the American world. With extraordinary repercussions in the future is the fact that we have passed on from the period in which. Increasing population. Is based upon increasing this rates and we have passed into the period in which increasing population is based upon forces forming districts. Too much discussion about the future population of the well is based on the general presupposition that death rates are going to remain moralistic. Or our experience is that this rates of falling heavily and very responsible medical
men tell me quite seriously that they see no reason why in 50 years time the human span of life shouldn't be raised to something like a hundred and twenty five years or even 150. Now you can quite see that is the span of life should increase to that sort of proportion. We should double the world population it within a generation. Even if we had no babies atoll. And a situation in which another contraceptive material become so popular that we have no babies at all for 25 years is I think an unlikely development. A very odd one for champions of youth movements to show strong support. Now this is a change in social structure that must bring about a change in social dynamics. Women trying to visualize what is likely to happen in the future we must
simply visualize changes in social structure because changes in structure involve changes in dynamics. For example what future for the youth culture which has been one of the great dynamic dynamic elements in American culture is that in an age in which the average age of the population is steadily increasing. What is my how relevant will be the youth cult dynamic youth cult dynamic in the past as visually based on the nation that uses the season at which death is distant and sexuality intense. No I don't know what the doctors can do about making the sexuality of hoping for a hit. But this could obviously make this very distant even when your own. We're going to very shortly I think I've come to have a period in which for the average man line thinkers along the number of years of what we now call old age. Than
it does in youth and middle age. Well actually to be 0 people most about now what does this mean it means a new dynamic it means a re-evaluation of the comparative stages of use and age of the comparative significance. Obviously I can't do much more than stress the extraordinary importance of this change in structure and of the resulting change in dynamic that must take place. Well the other thing which I want to mention is the extraordinary danger of taking bizarre youth movements like rapiers for example as to profit he can do pretty with those with the future effect are you pink movement is not really a radical movement. If we are asked the question Do we really believe in the future you can see what the alternatives are. Nuclear holocaust of destruction. Staying just where
we are. The future generation of the present. All some kind of regression to the past. For example we even had a candidate for the presidency of the United States who wanted to go back to the 18th century. But the hippies want to go back to primitive tribalism. Their ideas about themselves they actually talk about the hippie tribe and they're quite serious about their ideas again. Pop it from the tribal life of American Indians particularly the Pueblo Indians I think rather than the more Plains Indians and from reading various when illustrating anthropological books and not growing up in some hours or adolescence in a Fiji Island that's where they get their ideas and then you return to primitivism. We haven't had anything quite like it since Rousseau wrote in a rather similar strain. The end of the 18th century. What if there is going to be true whatever the future holds for us. I very much doubt of it anything like
the hippies really want to really anticipate now that doesn't mean that I don't think they're important for I do think they are somewhat bizarre. Pray to the parts of the imminence of our relatively jobless was the great trauma of course of primitive existence is that people didn't have to worry and it made me let out a few carries a future in which we don't have to wear anything like so how does we Wednesday. Did I hold that this is true I really did. I've just read a couple of ideas into the whole thing which I think we're having around even if we don't use them. But my main feeling is that I agree so much with what has been said so far at this conference. But I find myself all odd into silence. That was British clergyman the Reverend J.B. Langmaid Casserly our third
speaker this week as a respected US educator and psychologist. He is Dr. Richard L. Cutler vice president for student affairs and professor of psychology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He has served as president of the Michigan Association for emotionally disturbed children and has worked as a major researcher for the National Institutes of Health. Here are the comments of psychologist Dr. Richard L. Cutler. I'm going to try to make five points and this since I have five minutes they will be brief and I will probably say things are categorically then I feel them. But in order to inject a bit of controversy into this so far. Very polite group. I want to touch on five things first on education and the planning process. As an educator I'm much impressed by Professor mere dollars devotion to education
to what he calls strengthening the popular faith and the ideals of planning and saying that the fundamental issue in planning is to reach the people. I agree with that. The process by which the people are reached is obviously an educational process. But there are two problems with that. One is that. There exist important and I educational attitudes are at least educational attitudes among groups vital to the solution of the problems that we have by educational means. And I would cite here the American middle class. Certainly with it's I think growing lassitude about education. Secondly the negro underclass third vast populations in the underdeveloped areas for such a group as the Red Guard which I do not think is a passing image on the scene so that the attitudes of those groups which are central to the solution of the problems that we have. Toward education not ones that give me very much hope about the
efficacy of education in dealing with the problem problems. The second problem seems to me is with the planners themselves that and this is a categorical statement which you can call with that planners are generally not means people and that education is a means process and that too often planners. In building whatever form of utopia they are at their drawing boards do not translate those plans and programs into means statements which are presentable by an educational program to the public and I would invite you to get out in the world and to think about how you get from here to there once you know where there is. I don't think you're doing that sufficiently. Point two and this is in response to Dave Basil his comments on the technological society. I really encourage you all even though there are not sufficient copies for everybody to get hold of the original text of these two presentations which are superb and read them. Take time to read
them. These men were hamstrung by a long lack of time this morning and their contributions deserve the closest attention. I'd have to ask this question Dave does such an organization as a technologically base inside of it we have necessarily have to result in a loss of selfhood and a loss of Man sense of life. I think not I think it's possible to have a human connection in this context. And the problem it seems to me is not one of of a necessary contradiction but a lack of sufficient experience with. This. I don't system. For us to grow up with it and understand the interconnections between man's life and the system we've had only 20 years less really in its full expression. You get used to this and I think that there is beginning evidence of groping for such connection I think the hippies are one. I think the student protest movement is another I think the New York riots is another. All of these things intrinsically not pleasant but yet having something to do with man's groping for connectedness
within the system. There's a problem also connected with the technological society and criticisms and that is that the major dynamic force groups in the world the negro underclass the underdeveloped nations China and others. Are framing their goal in terms of the very value system that the technological society puts forth. So that we may get into a very uncomfortable position if we get too moral too fast. Because with world pressure for productivity technological advances and so forth and well are holding the keys to that at least the know how to accomplish it. If we back away too fast from this system we may be gone in one direction while the rest of the world is going in another and find ourselves are wonderfully moral people in a totally immoral world devoted to materialism and technology and then will be as
badly off as we are now. Point three on the new class. I think there is a new class and I think most of us here are members of that classes. RUSSERT as one points out doesn't seem to me that there is any intrinsic evil in this new class. It's a question of orientation. It's a question of a developing consciousness and conscience ness among us so that the tools so that we as tools become utilize able within a conscience based context. We haven't learned how to do that yet but I'm not pessimistic that we will not learn how.
- The next fifty years
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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 of American Society, part II. J.V. Langmead Casserly, Richard L. Cutler, James W. Rouse
- Social Issues
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Producing Organization: WAMU-FM (Radio station : Washington, D.C.)
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-26-7 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
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- APA: The next fifty years; The Future American Society, pt. II. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-s756jw10