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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol. 36, No 11 May 30th, 1973



When Toffler comes to education his deterministic approach presumes that the system that grew to meet the demands of industrial society is actually efficient in meeting those demands. This would mean that a person schooled under the present system is ipso facto a literate, linear-thinking, specialised, industrialised human being. Without considering such subtleties as illiterates, drop-outs, alienated students or mystics, Toffler rushes to join the attack on the present system as outmoded. The problem, as Toffler sees it, is that the education system at present mass-produces Industrial Men. The answer as he sees it, is to change the system so as to mass-produce Super-Industrial Men.

I put it that a value-structure ignorant of, if not opposed to, the spiritual, instinctive and emotional aspects of humanity is not one that has respect for man's integrity or dignity. Toffler's technolatry is such a one and worse: In presuming that a man can be processed into a 'visionated' social planner, that eccentrics can be 'wired into networks', that Utopians can be institutionalised into factory-cum-asylum laboratories, that people can be schooled into Super-Industrial automatons, it displays the arrogant contempt of man that underlines all totalitarian and deterministic theories.

Toffler's stupidities derive from the stupidity of his idolatry of technology. The old theologies are not much in fashion now, but the experience of man-kind-past cannot be jettisoned if the course of mankind-future is to take is to be a wise one. It is pertinent to recall that the distinguishing mark of the heresy called idolatry was that it abstracted out of the teeming multiplicity of life some one particular bit and elevated this to the Godhead. It is wise, especially in an agricultural economy, to understand and respect the attributes of cows, but it is idolatrous (and foolish) to take the Cow as sacred and place it on a golden pedestal. Seeing the universe through technological glasses and making all indiviual and social problems into little prayers at the pedestal of sacred Technology is a contemporary example of a very old-fashioned human trait.