The Public Interest

Notes on the post-industrial society (II)

Daniel Bell

Spring 1967

These “notes” are guiding a work in progress entitled The Post-Industrial Society. They appear as “notes” to emphasize the tentative nature of the formulations. The “post-industrial” society, as it was outlined in the first part of this essay, was defined as one in which the economy had moved from being predominantly engaged in the production of goods to being preoccupied with services, research, education and amenities; in which the professional-technical class had become the major occupational group; and – most importantly – in which innovation in the society, as reflected in the changing relationship of science to technology, and economics to the polity, was increasingly dependent on advances in theoretical knowledge. For this reason, the intellectual institutions of the society, because they are concerned with the codification of theoretical knowledge, will increasingly, in the last third of the century, become the primary institutions of the society. The post-industrial society, it was argued, presupposes the rise of a new class who, on the political level, serve as advisors, experts or technocrats. The relation between the technocrat and the politician, serving as the broker for various interest groups, will become one of the problematic issues of the post-industrial society.

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