Mid-century freedom: man ‘on parole’


“Our modern industrial economy, based on impersonability, interchangability and speed, has worn away the old protective securities without creating new ones. It has failed to develop an organizational framework of its own within which self-realization on a large scale is possible. Freedom in industrial society, as a result, has a negative rather than positive connotation. It means a release from external restrains rather than a deep and abiding sense of self-control and purpose. Man is not free: he is out on parole.”

Arthur Schlesinger, The Vital Center, 1949

(Picture: Lost Youngstown)

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