AGREAT deal of thought is being concentrated to-day on the general aspects, the underlying principles, and the probable future of our civilisation, which is supposed to be distinguished from all previous civilisations by a dominating industrialism gradually extending and deepening its hold throughout the entire social organism until it is complete master thereof, holding it under grievous thraldom, body and soul. The present small volume, one of the Psyche miniatures now being published by Messrs. Kegan Paul, attempts to show that this domination will take the form of a perfectly mechanised State in which practically every function and activity of the individual citizen will be a matter of regulated routine, and all his actions will be so guided and prescribed by the State that he will have little or no initiative or volition of his own; he will become a semi-hypnotised automaton, a machine slave. The Machine Age will have arrived, not only in a literal sense wherein every part of manufacture will be done by machinery, but also in a wider and more figurative sense, wherein the machinery of government, of municipal organisation, and of industrial organisation will be so perfected that every circumstance or condition of the individual citizen will have its appropriate formula; and all that he will have to do to achieve a wholly successful life will be to apply formula as and when required, and with a minimum of conscious thought, effort, or mental disturbance of any kind. Thought will have been conquered by invention.
The Conquest of Thought by Invention in the Mechanical State of the Future.
By H. Stafford Hatfield. (Psyche Miniatures: General Series No. 26.) Pp. 117. (London: Kegan Paul and Co., Ltd., 1929.) 2s. 6d. net.