Friday, February 27, 2004

big government

I showed part of a video in one of my classes today, "The Electric Valley" by Ross Spears from the James Agee Film Project. At one point Arthur Morgan's son talks about the controversy that forced Morgan to resign as head of the TVA. He says that the greatest loss is of Morgan's vision of what good public administration can do to improve society. I heard it as a socialist vision of social engineering, and what struck me is how foreign that now seems. I once wrote an article about practical uses of satellites that assumed the concept of the public good as a justification for government programs, but the concept is fading fast. The film was made in 1983.

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