Most readers will recognize Peter Drucker’s name as the author of many books about management. The Austrian immigrant was revered in that field and sold millions of books. Few realize, though, that his academic training was actually in international law and that he moved toward business out of his conviction that management is a liberal art. I have embarked upon a research project to read and understand his social thought. In the process of reading his first book, The End of Economic Man, I have run into many gems, including this one:
Realization of freedom and equality was first sought in the spiritual sphere. The creed that all mean are equal in the world beyond and free to decide their fate in the other world by their actions and thoughts in this one, which, accordingly, is but a preparation for the real life, may have been only an attempt to keep the masses down, as the eighteenth century and the Marxists assert. But to the people in the eleventh or in the thirteenth century the promise was real. That every Last Judgment at a church door shows popes, bishops, and kings in damnation was not just the romantic fantasy of a rebellious stonemason. It was a real and truthful expression of that epoch of our history which projected freedom and equality into the spiritual sphere.