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Ernest Gellner

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In the twentieth century, the essence of man is not that he is a rational, or a political, or a sinful, or a thinking animal, but that he is an industrial animal. It is not his moral or intellectual or social or aesthetic ... attributes which make man what he is. His essence resides in his capacity to contribute to, and to profit from, industrial society. The emergence of industiral society is the prime concern of sociology.

 
Ernest Gellner

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Unless we realize that the essence of Nazism is also an attempt to solve a universal problem of Western civilization - that of the industrial society - and that the basic principles on which the Nazis base this attempt are also in no way confined to Germany, we do not know what we fight for or what we fight against... The war is being fought for the structure of industrial society--its basic principles, its purposes, and its institutions.

 
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We still think and talk of the basic problems of an industrial society as problems that can be solved by changing the system, that is the superstructure of political organization. Yet the real problems lie within the [industrial] enterprise. ...our representative institution... a mirror in which we look when we want to see ourselves.

 
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