<PART II    >

Kenneth S. Keyes, Jr.
Jacque Fresco



We don't view our projection of the twenty-first century as a final blueprint, and you shouldn't either. It will serve its purpose if it gets intelligent people thinking about these problems. We hope you can improve our projection of future goals and the ways by which they may be achieved.

"We are now at the point," said anthropologist Margaret Mead, "where we must educate people in what nobody knew yesterday and prepare in our schools for what no one knows yet, but what some people must know tomorrow." Perhaps never in the history of mankind has it been so important that we know where we're going and how to get there. Humanity is no longer running- a two-bit show. There are over 3,000,000,000 people in the world today. We will soon be able to start a nuclear war that could wipe out all human life. Even ignoring the nuclear threat, it will take global organization of a high order to provide a good life for all humans. Freedom from war and want is at last within our grasp. But it won't happen automatically. We must use our heads and our hearts.

Scientific, political, industrial, economic, and sociological changes are occurring at a pace more rapid today than ever before in history. Some people have wished that things would slow down so we could have more time to adjust to change. This, of course, won't happen. Many are opposing changes simply because they are changes. They are nostalgically and frantically holding on to the "wisdom" of the past. But in times of rapid change, the "wisdom" of the past is usually of little help in meeting the problems of the present.

W. H. Ferry of the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions has advised us that we should hardly be surprised by the changes that lie ahead:

Aristotle foresaw a takeover by machines 2000 years ago. The possibility of a workless or nearly workless society emerging from technology is part of our literature. H. G. Wells told his readers about it 50 years ago. Forty years ago, C. H. Douglas wrote: 'We can produce at this moment goods and services at a rate very considerably greater than the possible rate of consumption, and this production and delivery of goods can, under favorable circumstances, be achieved by the employment of not more than 25 per cent of the available labor working, let us say, seven hours a day.' Olaf Stapledon and Stuart Chase, in very different ways, told us the same story 30 years ago. Jacques Ellul in The Technological Society, just published, says, 'By the end of the 19th Century people saw in their grasp the moment in which everything would be at the disposal of everyone, in which man, replaced by the machines would have only pleasures and play.' In a neglected report of December 1963, the Research Institute of America anticipated the Committee when it remarked, 'The moment of truth on automation is coming—a lot sooner than most people realize. .The shattering fact is that the U.S. is still almost totally unprepared for the approaching crisis.'1

It seems incredible that any intelligent man can view with complacency the slowness with which we are changing to meet the challenge of the world that lies ahead of us. Dandridge M. Cole has pointed out that,

"It has already been noted that technical knowledge is doubling every seven years (the doubling time is decreasing), and that ninety percent of all the scientists who ever lived are alive right now. Without assuming any reduction in doubling time it can be estimated that our total of technical knowledge in fifty years will exceed the present level by a factor of 27 or 256."2

"In the past most individuals were able to go through life with the set of attitudes and beliefs appropriate to the age in which they were brought up," wrote Robert Theobald:

The rate of change in science, in technology, in the beliefs and ideals of man was sufficiently slow to ensure that they remained relatively appropriate. Even then the older generation expressed its dissatisfaction in the phrase: 'I don't know what the world is coming to.' Nowadays it is recognized that the attitudes appropriate to the beginning of the twenty-first century will be totally different from those now accepted, but little attempt is made to look ahead. Indeed, much education is based on the ideas of past scholars; as a result theories are taught to generations of students long after they have been recognized by the leaders in the field of study to be incorrect.3

Every kindergarten, elementary school, high school, and college in the nation should help students anticipate the changes that lie in their future. It should challenge them to seek new ways of thinking and feeling—of reorganizing their society to make the most of man's potential for happiness in the new age. Instead, most of our public and private schools prepare the students to live with the values and folkways of our ancestors.

Ready or Not

Ready or not, we are rapidly launching into a period of tremendous change. This is obvious on a technological level with satellites orbiting the earth, color television in our homes, and the government computers checking up on our income tax. But we are just now beginning an era in which social change must keep pace with technological change. The social patterns which we have inherited from ancient Mesopotamia will not give us happiness in the world of the future. The turmoil, insecurity, unhappiness, and conflict that are experienced today will increase unbearably if we are slow in inventing new ways of living, thinking, and feeling. Humanity is now entering into its adolescent phase. If we're going to come through our teen years without too many scars, the human race had better learn how to mature.

Perhaps the greatest threat that faces us at this moment is the fragmentation of humanity into over 100 egocentric national boundary lines. These paranoid nationalities claim the sovereign right to use weapons that can kill millions of people in other countries. If we continue improving our atomic weapons for another twenty years, it is possible that a flare-up of a dictator's temper could bring on a chain of events that would wipe out every human being.

No one can predict the future with certainty. One thing, however, seems highly probable. Things are moving so fast that in a hundred years our society will bear little resemblance to the economic, social, and political patterns of today. We suggest that whatever the future brings, it will represent a pattern spun out by the "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness" value structure, the scientific method as a thinking technique, and the cornucopia flowing from automated and computerized tools.

The future holds great stress and threat to individuals who do not have flexible nervous systems. It also offers a limitless challenge to those who can use their intelligence for its primary evolutionary function: to adapt to changing conditions. Greater wisdom, fantastic accomplishments, and enormously increased happiness may be ours in the humanistic, scientific, cybernated world of tomorrow.

Your Participation Is Needed

"In world leaders and individual citizens alike," advises Dr. Robert M. Hutchins,

"old habits and customs stand in the way of adaptation to a new world. We are only beginning to study these habits and customs, to seek new ways of using our intelligence in order to preserve the species. In this effort the best thinking of every man and woman is needed."4

Dr. George Gallup in The Miracle Ahead points out that we can not rely on our economic and political leaders to help us respond dynamically to the challenge of the future. Dr. Gallup suggests:

. . . change can not be brought about easily by its leaders, except in those situations in which the changes advocated do not disturb present relationships. In fact, it is the leaders who typically become the most bitter and the most effective foes of change. The public, therefore, must take the initiative and assume responsibility for progress in the affairs of man. The public must force change upon its leaders.5

In the history of man, no generation has been educated to expect social change and creatively adapt to it. In a very real sense we back into the future hoping we don't get our behinds chewed off. We eagerly seek new medicines for our physical ailments even before these have been thoroughly tested. But when it comes to political, social, and economic changes upon which so much of our happiness depends, our guiding philosophy seems to be, "Don't rock the boat." Well, the boat is rocking, and it's going to remain rocking for a long time. The only way to stop the boat from rocking is to use the scientific method of thinking to guide us to social inventions that really work.

No one today has all the answers—or even the questions. But by means of careful experimentation and measurement of results, we can eventually determine what political, economic, and social changes will give humanity freedom from war and want and will enable all people to live a more satisfying life. For the first time in the history of man we can redesign both ourselves and our entire environment! By manipulating our genes, we will be able to change the structure and function of our bodily organs in almost any way that we desire. With a cybernated technology based on nuclear power, we can redesign our living areas, our cities, and our planet. And even the sky is not the limit. Eventually, the mind of a man might profoundly change the planets of our solar system. Our galaxy and possibly the nebulae beyond may feel our touch. Our only limitations are our intelligence and our creative imagination. Man may now control his destiny!

Every intelligent citizen on this globe should be pondering these uncharted seas on which the ship of humanity is now plunging ahead at full speed. Like Columbus, who set out on a daring voyage about a half-millennium ago, we have only a few scraps of information plus our scientific and humanistic intelligence to guide us. We must use these to the best of our ability to avoid the hell of atomic war. We must somehow land ourselves on a new shore where men and women may find themselves, where blighted personality development will become the exception rather than the norm, where man's inhumanity to man will be unknown, and where wars and want will be but a distant memory. Only then will the spirit of man soar to its full, wonderful potential.