Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘team work

Einstein speaks on his impressions of North America; (Nov. 26, 2009)

Einstein resigned his post at the University of Prussia in 1933 as Hitler was elected Chancellor; he was appointed later professor at the University of Princeton.  You may compare what the USA was 70 years ago with its current state of affairs and social behaviors.  Asked on his impressions of North America Einstein wrote:

“The first impression of a visitor is this great technological superiority and rationality in daily common objects:  They are more durable and resistant than those manufactured in Europe. Houses are functional.  Everything is calculated to economize on human labor.  Thus, the workers do not come cheap, a fact that stimulates more technological development and fine tuning of methods of work.”

America is adopting a policy of the clam: it raises prohibitive tariffs on imported goods. (I guess this is no longer the case.

First, the US citizen is working double shifts, if he finds a job, to sustain the decade of the 50’s standard of living and failing miserably;

Second, the US is no longer manufacturing anything of values, since consumerism demand the lowest prices from imported goods.

“MY second impression is that the citizen projects an attitude of positive happiness to life; he smiles, he is friendly, and he is conscious of his value.  The Europeans demonstrate critical minds and absence of generosity, and compassion. The European asks a lot from his entertainments and readings.

The US citizen is willing to sacrifice much in hardship and peace of mind in order to enjoy comfort and pleasure of life; he has a definite purpose and the present is not a state, but a future in the making. He is not strictly psychologically egoistic.  He emphasizes the “we” in his discussions, but he is more conformist than Europeans. Organized work, repartition of tasks, efficiency in industries, at universities, and in private charitable institutions come easily and quickly to him.

The third impression is that State influence is relatively weak; almost all the economy is privatized.  Discrepancies in social earnings are balanced out by social and community feeling of responsibilities toward the less well off.  The rich people are willing to re-distribute a large chunk of their wealth and offer their services to the communities simply because public opinion is strong and demands such tendencies.

Even important cultural functions are in private hands.  Lately, the prestige of the Federal government was eroded due to the prohibition laws on alcoholic beverage.  The rate of criminality increased. It is never advisable to enact laws that you cannot enforce. Public opinion has thus suffered and the press, representing group interests, has replaced the once powerful public opinion.

The fourth impression is that money is very valued, but this impression is highly exaggerated: there is a growing tendency that a happy life should not be that dependent on large fortunes.

The fifth impression is that the US citizen is generally not receptive to classical music and plastic art.

The sixth impression is my admiration to the results of scientific institutions: it is this climate of tolerance, group spirit, and good cooperation among teams that count far more than money injected in the institutions.

The seventh impression is that the US is not interested in getting involved in international problems; the citizens ought to feel personal responsibilities to world predicaments and just get more active in international politics.

(Currently, the State is getting far too involved but the simple citizen never overcame his reluctance to meddle in international affairs).

Einstein said that the last hundred of years witnessed a huge progress in material abundance, but the moral improvement retrograded.

It is like putting lethal and dangerous tools in the hands of kids; a child of 3 years old handling a sharp razor blade!


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

July 2020
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