Human Potentialities

Human Potentialities

Human Potentialities

Human Potentialities

Excerpt

This may seem to be an odd time in which to undertake long-range weather-forecasting for humanity. It seems uncertain whether we shall get through the next storm. There seems some reason, however, to believe that storms make a good basis for long-range thinking about human weather. If I can claim the companionship of Sir Thomas More in looking far ahead while in the midst of crisis, I shall ask no more.

There is, however, a new fund of knowledge about mankind, so amazing and breathtaking by virtue of the unprecedented acceleration of all the sciences in recent years that one may actually lay before one's readers some of the possibilities among which humanity must and will soon choose. It is an age of new knowledge and an age of many possible kinds of Utopias, and the urgency of the task is plain.

I believe that in this century and the next there is a serious possibility that thoughtful men and women may define the various kinds of future societies and the various kinds of individual lives which are realistically possible, and make conscious and voluntary choices.

"We do not live," said Groddeck; "we are lived." But we can learn to live, to study the latent potentialities of mankind, discover which ones are feasible and satisfying, and utilize science, education, and government to achieve them. I shall try to show why, under the conditions now coming into existence, it is improbable that knowledge or power can be kept in the hands of a few. When a few have made a beginning in asking about human potentialities, more and more of humanity will become interested and begin to participate in the choices.

There is no dearth of literature, from Utopias to science fiction, to tell mankind that life can be explosively new. My aim is a little . . .

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