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But threats to the modern individual tend to be MAN-MADE. They are not the results of chance but are IMPOSED on him by other persons whose decisions he, as an individual, is unable to influence. Consequently he feels frustrated, humiliated and angry. 70. Thus primitive man for the most part has his security in his own hands (either as an individual or as a member of a SMALL group), whereas the security of modern man is in the hands of persons or organizations that are too remote or too large for him to be able personally to influence them.
66. Today people live more by virtue of what the system does FOR them or TO them than by virtue of what they do for themselves. And what they do for themselves is done more and more along channels laid down by the system. Opportunities tend to be those that the system provides, the opportunities must be exploited in accord with the rules and regulations, and techsocial problems by having society guarantee everyone’s security; but if that could be done it would only bring back the problem of purposelessness.
Electricity, indoor plumbing, rapid long-distance communications how could one argue against any of these things, or against any other of the innumerable technical advances that have made modern society? It would have been absurd to resist the introduction 61 of the telephone, for example. It offered many advantages and no disadvantages. Yet, as we explained in paragraphs 59- 76, all these technical advances taken together have created a world in which the average man’s fate is no longer in his own hands or in the hands of his neighbors and friends, but in those of politicians, corporation executives and remote, anonymous technicians and bureaucrats whom he as an individual has no power to influence.