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Three transformations have influenced our time. The first is a transformation that we celebrate. It is represented by many different kinds of progress: material progress, scientific progress, medical progress; all the things that would be wonders if we encountered them with fresh eyes. The second transformation is one that we don’t like to think about, and that represents all of the unwelcome side effects of the first transformation; essentially the unpaid bills of the first transformation. Thus, the second transformation includes pollution, the urban problems of our cities, poverty, and joblessness—the many things that have gone wrong as a direct result of what we celebrate as being right. We very often don’t connect the two. When we look at the bad transformation we tend to see it as a separate phenomenon and not to recognize that it simply represents the flaws of the first transformation.
The third transformation is something that is now only in the making. It would be a positive adaption to the second transformation. Included in the third transformation would be ways of dealing with the unpaid bills, ways of solving the problems of industrialization and modernization. It would be a triumph if it succeeded because it would begin to solve what have up to now seemed to be the intractable problems of a society that is dedicated to constant change.
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