George Walford: How Much is New?

We have commented before on the way themes of s.i. appear in the writings of people who had not heard of it. In IC29 we gave a quotation from Cardinal Newman that brought out neatly some of the distinctions between the ideologies of expedience and of domination. The following quotation comes from “Conflicting Theories of Instruction; Conceptual Dimensions” (Berkeley, California, McCutcheon, 1976), by Zvi Lamm, Professor of the Philosophy of Education in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Dr.Lamm has since become interested in s.i., but this book was published before he had encountered it. The passage brings out the inverse relationship, between individualism and enterprise in the economic / technological sphere, and collectivism and passivity in the political / intellectual, that marks the ideologies to which the great numbers are attached:

In the economic and technological spheres, modern societies prefer people who are capable of solving complex problems by abstract thought and who are inventive and innovative – people who are to some extent at least, autonomous. The political sphere, on the other hand, prefers individuals who conform, adapt, and respond to accepted symbols and slogans, and identify with the collective goals of of society …

from Ideological Commentary 32, March 1988.