(From Between Two Ages: America’s Role in the Technetronic Era, 1971, Viking Press, New York)
Brzezinski writes about man becoming obsessed with self-analysis according to external criteria such as aptitudes, IQ and physical features, rather than accepting himself as a given. So the spontaneous internal man is in conflict with the post-industrial obsessive external man, always concerned with his self-conscious image. (p. 16)
He mentions again the possibility of “chemical mind control”, and the loss of individuality through transplantation and genetic manipulation. He claims there will be problems “determining the legitimate scope of social control”. (p. 16)
Writing around 1970, he writes about how two-thirds of the population of advanced countries live in cities which contribute to the “depersonalization of individual life”. (p. 17) He cites Julian Huxley’s warning that just as overcrowding in animals “leads to distorted neurotic and downright pathological behavior”, in the same way, “city life today is definitely leading to mass mental disease…” (p. 17)
Brzezinski notes the “breakdown in communication between the generations.” Debate “implies the acceptance of a common frame of reference”, so more and more it becomes impossible. (p. 17)
He mentions how our lives are being fragmented, but “global reality increasingly absorbs the individual…”, and we experience the world “vicariously” through radio and television. (p. 18)
“Instant communications” are already creating a type of “global nervous system”. But the so-called “global village” will lack the traditions, values and stability of an actual village. (p. 19)
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