Chapter 8: Change Is the Law of Life
Toffler is not clear about the distinction - that human beings are not equal. Economically they can be made equal, politically they can be given equal freedom - equal freedom of expression - but what they will express will show you that they are different, what they will do with their freedom will show you that they are different, how they will use their equality will make it clear to you that they are unequal.
So he takes the humanity as a whole; that’s where he goes wrong in his analysis.
The old society was sane for the mediocre and insane for the intelligent - because for the intelligent there was no scope. You were not allowed to invent anything: “God has made everything. Whatever is needed has already been created by God.”
A preacher in a church was giving a sermon and saying, “Everything that is needed is created by God.”
One little boy had come with his father. He stood up and said, “What about railway trains? He did not create them, and they are needed. You yourself have traveled by railway train to come to the church. We have traveled, to come to the church, in a railway train. What about railway trains?”
The priest was shocked for a moment. Then he looked into the Bible and there is a sentence: “God created all things that creep.” He said, “It is written clearly that all things that creep, God created. Everything is not noted down, but trains are creepers. This sentence is enough proof that God created the railway trains.”
But it has to be God who created everything. Man was not allowed.
So it was very sane for the mediocre, for the stupid. They enjoyed it. And nobody could say to them that they are mediocre, they are stupid, because there was no difference between them and the intelligent and the genius.
Today you can see the gap.
So for the genius, the modern world of constant change is just what he has been waiting for for millennia. But to the mediocre, it is very difficult - he cannot exist, things are changing so fast, he feels lost.
For example, in the past there was no divorce; marriage was permanent. Once you got married, there was no way of going back; you were married for your whole life. Even the question was irrelevant.
In the countries which are still living in the past.for example in India, in the villages nobody ever thinks of divorce. The word is never used, although the constitution allows it. But divorce happens only in a very small minority of educated people who are confined only to the big cities like Bombay, Calcutta, Madras, Delhi. The rest of India knows nothing of it.
It was convenient for the mediocre to have one husband, to have one wife, to know each other, to know each other’s habits, to get adjusted to each other. It may be miserable; it does not matter. But at least it was stable and it was good for the children, it was good for the society - because it gives stability to society’s traditions, conventions.