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Peter F. DruckerI consider myself a “social ecologist,” concerned with man’s man-made environment the way the natural ecologist studies the biological environment. The term “social ecology” is my own coinage. But the discipline itself boasts an old and distinguished lineage. Its greatest document is Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America. But no one is as close to me in temperament, concepts, and approach as the mid-Victorian Englishman Walter Bagehot. Living (as I have) in an age of great social change, Bagehot first saw the emergence of new institutions: civil service and cabinet government, as cores of a functioning democracy, and banking as the center of a functioning economy. A hundred years after Bagehot, I was first to identify management as the new social institution of the emerging society of organizations and, a little later, to spot the emergence of knowledge as the new central resource, and knowledge workers as the new ruling class of a society that is not only “postindustrial” but postsocialist and, increasingly, post-capitalist. As it had been for Bagehot, for me too the tension between the need for continuity and the need for innovation and change was central to society and civilization.–The Ecological Vision: Reflections on the American Condition by Peter Drucker

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