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Full text of "Man In The Modern World"

MAN IN THE  MODERN WORLD

were   all manifestations,   sometimes   total   and   drastic,  sometimes
partial and hesitant, of the world transformational)at is in progress.

The Russians long ago recognized its existence, and so, in their
fashion, did the Fascists, the Nazis, and the Japanese expansionists.
Britain as a nation did not recognize it until much later, but when
it came the recognition was explicit enough. A distinguished
Swedish woman economist who spent some weeks in England in
1941 on her way to the U.S.A. told me how one night in the Savoy
Hotel she found herself sitting next to a young odieer in one of the
Guards regiments, a typical English aristocrat. "You know," he
said, "we're living in a Social Revolution here: veiy interesting,
what?5' Very interesting indeed to a representative of a class which
was likely to suffer considerably as a result! The remark was a
symptom. Toward the end of 1940 the adjustments of people and
Government alike to the threat of invasion and to the Nazi air
bombardment, together with the writings and radio talks of men like
Priestley, had brought an acceptance of the fact which was both
general and, on the whole, remarkably good-natured.

France had to accept the revolution, in the guise of Pelain's pale
imitation of Fascism. The United States is the only great Power
which has not generally recognized its existence as an inescapable
fact. The proportion of its people who still imagine that after the
war they can go back to the old social and international system--
with a few minor differences no doubt, but essentially the same —is
still high. When I was there in the winter of 1941-42 I would have
said at least eighty per cent.; many American friends to whom I
talked said ninety or more. Thanks to events ami the writings of
men like Wendell Willkie and Walter Lippmann, the proportion has
been much reduced; but it is still high enough, especially as regards
social and economic affairs, to prevent the emergence of a common
consciousness. The most important single thing for the Americans to
do now is to recognize that they, like the rest of the world, are living
in a revolution, and that in some form or other it will achieve itself
inevitably, whether they like it or not.

in
The next step after recognizing the existence of the revolution is to
understand its nature and probable results. This can best be done
by studying the trends already manifested by the revolution as it
has operated in various countries, discovering what they have in
common, and projecting them forward to their logical conclusion,
152