21st century thinking – Churchill Looks Ahead

Back in 1932, Winston Churchill published a book called “Thoughts and Adventures”.  The book is in fact a series of essays that range far and wide. One of these essays is entitled “Fifty Years Hence”.

The key point for me relates to one of Churchill’s great fears about the future. One the one hand, mankind is using science to advance more rapidly than ever before. On the other hand, mankind is not developing institutions or individual wisdom that can moderate the dangers that invention may bring. He writes

We have the spectacle of the powers and weapons of man far outstripping the march of his intelligence, we have the march of his intelligence proceeding far more rapidly than the development of his nob8ility.

We have managed to survive beyond the fifty years hence period that Churchill framed. But was he right that our nobility lags far behind our intelligence and the technologies that we have created? It is a question worth pondering.


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