Robert Heilbroner

in Visions of the Future

Published in print May 1996 | ISBN: 9780195102864
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199854974 | DOI:

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This chapter presumes that the forces that have established the differences of Yesterday from the Distant Past, and that still shape Today's world, will continue to exercise their role Tomorrow. Science and technology are sources of unease as we look into the future since it may be used as weapons of mass destruction. It is likely that capitalism will be the principal form of socioeconomic organization during the 21st century but some say capitalism will not last forever. Political prospects are certainly better in the advanced world. Mass political will, largely impotent during the Distant Past, has become the wild card of Today, and perhaps even more so of Tomorrow. Taken together the three forces formed the basis of an utterly new conception of the future as embodying Progress—power over nature, access to and expectations of improved material well-being, and political responsibility.

Keywords: science and technology; socioeconomic organization; political will; Progress

Chapter.  7067 words. 

Subjects: Economics

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