"In 1881, an American, Frederick Winslow Taylor (1856-1915), first applied knowledge to the study of work, the analysis of work, and the engineering of work. . . .
"By 1930, Taylor's Scientific Management -- despite resistance from unions and from intellectuals -- had swept the developed world. As a result, Marx's 'proletarian' became a 'bourgeois.' The blue-collar worker in manufacturing industry, the 'proletarian' rather than the 'capitalist,' became the true beneficiary of Capitalism and Industrial Revolution. This explains the total failure of Marxism in the highly developed countries for which Marx had predicted 'revolution' by 1900. . . . It explains why the Great Depression did not lead to Communist revolution. . . . By that time, Marx's proletarians had not yet become affluent, but they had become middle class. They had become productive.
" 'Darwin, Marx, Freud' form the trinity often cited as the 'makers of the modern world.' Marx would be taken out and replaced by Taylor if there were any justice in the world. But that Taylor is not given his due is a minor matter. It is a serious matter that far too few people realize that the application of knowledge to work created developed economies by setting off the productivity explosion of the last hundred years."
-- From Post-Capitalist Society,
by Peter F. Drucker
(HarperCollins, 1993)* * *
PRINT THIS ARTICLE