Since Etzioni wrote these words, the power of organizations over life and death has continued to increase. In the same period that revolutionary new techniques in medicine have developed which can save, prolong and improve life, the potential for planetary destruction has also increased, both through nuclear warfare and through the damage (both anticipated and unanticipated) inflicted on the earth’s ecological system by industrial expansion. These developments are only the latest in a long line which have arisen because of the way in which human beings have learnt how to organize rationally vast social and physical resources across time and space.
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