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Full text of "Man In The Modern World"

MAN IN THE  MODERN  WORLD
ment suitable for its own area. After extensive testing, agreements
were drawn up by which manufacturers of farm equipment could
make and sell the machines commercially, at an agreed price. A
recent example is a multiple-purpose "furrow-seeder" for hilly
country. This can be attached to a two-horse plough, ploughs fur-
rows along the contours, and drops seeds and phosphatic fertilizer in
the furrow, all in a single operation; and costs less than $25. A
similar venture was the perfecting of a cheap refrigerator, selling at
a few hundred dollars, to serve entire communities for the storage of
meat and other perishable farm commodities.
The general aim of combining the efficiency of central planning
with the sense of participation that comes from decentralization is
well illustrated in the TVA's electricity programme. Generation and
transmission are centralized under the TVA itself. But both the
ownership and the management of the distribution are decentralized,
and are in the hands of local organizations, either municipal or co-
operative. Standards in regard to rates and other important matters
are kept uniform by means of the contracts under which TVA pro-
vides bulk electric power to the local units; but the separate units
have worked out the most ingenious methods for making the new^
resource available to the maximum number of people in the most
fruitful way.
With all this and much of similar import, however, a basic problem
remained—how to make the people of the region as a whole feel that
the plan was their plan, not a scheme imposed from above by a remote
authority, nor even a series of special schemes in which particular
interests or communities could profitably participate. With this aim
in view, a joint committee has been set up, representing the TVA and
all the State Universities in the region, to see how best the educational
system and its curriculum can be utilized to bring about a wider
understanding of the aims and achievements of the TVA, and the
general relevance of the plan to the life of the Valley. From the
primary school to the University, interest is now being focused on the
broad problems of the region, on the plans of the TVA for dealing
with them, and on the need for popular co-operation if the plans are
to be effective.
This scheme is still young, but it should be of real value in generat-
ing a social self-consciousness in the region and relating it to the
central authority, which otherwise might remain in Olympian de-
tachment from popular feeling.
In the North-West Region, where the Columbia River is being
harnessed on an equally grand scale, popular participation in plan-
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