Facing a severe challenge from without and trouble from within, American opinion leaders feel the need to assure themselves that the ship of state is under firm control. The debate on national goals with which we are deluged today is interesting for many reasons, but not least for the light it throws on the need for some kind of directive about what America should do in the face of its multiple crises. Since there obviously can be nothing wrong with our present social system in and of itself, what is required therefore is a re-thinking, a re-orientation of the system as it stands—if “stands” is the word.
In order to help solve the problem two recent works have attempted to scrutinize America and decide on its goals. One was produced by an outgoing administration—a fine time, one might think for an administration to think about goals, but typical of that administration. It was written by The President’s Commission on National Goals and is called Goals for Americans. The other, produced for the incoming administration, is composed of “task force” reports prepared under the title New Frontiers for the Kennedy Administration. In preparing Goals for Americans over 100 experts were used as co...
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