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Conduct of Life
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on June 8, 2000
This classic by Lewis Mumford is a poignant, perceptive and polemical critique of modern society in the age of "democratic-capitalism". Mumford's premise is that modern civilization based on democratic-capitalism creates only a "mass man": incapable of choice, incapable of spontaneous, self-directed activities; at best impatient, docile, disciplined to monotonous work to an almost pathetic degree, but increasingly irresponsible as his choices become fewer and fewer; finally modern man is a creature governed mainly by... modern business, the propaganda office and the planing bureaus of totalitarian and quasi-totalitarian governments (which, by definition, include both Marxist-Leninist governments and democratic-capitalist governments). Written years ago, "The Conduct of Life" remains a rational, conclusive and veracious analysis of humanity's place in a capitalist society.
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