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Mr. Hoffer examines the role that works plays in self-esteem as well as the effects of growing automation upon this self-esteem. He comments on the basic human need in all societies, in every period of history, for self-realization. It is, he feels, the feeling of worth derived from productive activity whether it be manual labor or the creation of art, literature and philosophy. Mr. Hoffer points out that early science grew out of Western man’s conception of God as “a master scientist,” and that Leonardo da Vinci, for his art, investigated anatomy and became interested in science because he believed it was “God’s work.” He then traces the development of machines from early civilization to what he terms, “present day over-mechanization and automation.” Today’s fast-growing automation and shrinking labor market is turning early man’s dream of luxury and leisure into a nightmare. Unemployment among workers is outstripping the ability of today’s economy to supply jobs for the unskilled. Mr. Hoffer cites current unemployment figures and projects them into the future, commenting that “when man is cut off from the chance to exercise his skills, he loses his confidence, his joy for life, and his sense of worth. Where you have people without a sense of usefulness, you have a potentially explosive situation ideal for the growth of hatred, bigotry and racism.”
Eric Hoffer; James Day; Winifred Murphy; Bernie Stoffer; KQED, San Francisco
National Educational Television; Indiana University Audio-Visual Center
Educational; Interview
National Educational Television
IUL Moving Image Archive
Rights Statement
No Copyright - United States
Other Identifiers
Other: GR00466334; MDPI Barcode: 40000003112788; MDPI Barcode: 40000003112796

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