Friday, May 25, 2012

What Man Can Make of Man

[T]he most powerful form of control over the individual never required electricity or even a state apparatus. It can be seen operating at full force in our comic and frightening short story, “Honors Track,” by Molly Patterson. There we see the warping effect of social pressure transmitted, intentionally or not, by parents, teachers, and peers. As Frazier observes in arguing for his own behavioral control rather than that of post-war mores: “Society attacks early, when the individual is helpless. It enslaves him almost before he has tasted freedom.” Outside of Walden Two, we may believe that we control ourselves. “But,” Frazier warns, “don’t be misled, the control always rests in the last analysis in the hands of society.” more

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