Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol. 36, No 11 May 30th, 1973
This is the first of two articles on contemporary false prophets by Terry McDavitt. They have been edited by the author from a much longer pamphlet for the requirements of Salient.
Toffler's thesis in Future Shock is that we are heading towards a state in which many if not most of us will be simply unable to cope with life. There is a 'roaring current of change' about, overturning institutions, values, and all those things the continuance or stability of which serve us as landmarks. The current may be a mere roar now, but it is accelerating all the time for the forces which drive it - technology, science, productivity—feed upon their own growth. Its immediate effects are transcience where there was stability, novelty where there was continuance, diversity where there was contention. Its deeper effects are psychological and sociological in nature, and those of us unable to cope with these will become, or have already become, victims of the paralysing 'future shock' of the title. Future shock will be endemic and may cripple human society altogether: there are limits to the rate of change human beings can absorb.
It is not necessary to have read Toffler's book to understand what it is, or this essay, is about: it is about the technological revolution. What Toffler has contributed is an extensive analysis of up-to-date 1970 knowledge. He has also contributed a display of the usual faults of technologists. He is biased and shallow, narrow, deterministic and anti-human, and philosophically he falls into the trap of what used to be called heresy — idolatry.