This injunction is listed as one of 14 Dominant Concepts in "Design Strategy" (Utopia Or Oblivion, p.366). There Fuller says:

"Don't attempt to reform man. An adequately organized environment will permit humanity's original, innate capabilities to become successful... Politics and conventionalized education have sought erroneously to mould or reform humanity."

The course Fuller takes is to reform the environment through artifacts, for example: "increasing safety and decreasing accidents by engineering improvements of motor vehicles while also providing overpasses and banked turns for the vehicles to drive on, instead of trying to reform the vehicle-drivers' behaviours" (Critical Path, p.140). But see Risk Homeostasis.

This is all part of the idea of the Design Revolution, and relates to Fuller's belief that the provision of universal physical success for humanity would "eliminate the need for lethally biased politics" (Critical Path, p.140).

In a similar vein, Fuller writes in Operating Manual (p.116) of the "reorganization of humanity's economic accounting system", and of our taking "the initiative in planning the world-around industrial re-tooling revolution".

This must be done because "we can no longer wait to see whose biased political system should prevail over the world".

If this is not, at least partly, a political question, it is hard to see what is.

What is the "economic accounting system" for most of humanity at this stage in history if not capitalism? Would not the superseding of capitalism be a political development? Aren't the tools of industry the very means of production whose ownership and control has been bitterly disputed for generations?

What may seem a terminological question begins to look all too real when Fuller's concept of industrialization is investigated. (See Imperialism.)

Did Fuller ever read Saint-Simon? His idea was that in future society the administration of people was to be replaced by the administration of things.



Paul Taylor 2001