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B.F. Skinner's Walden Two

             On the first day of the visit by the author's group of six to the utopian community, Walden Two, there is a brief break from the lecture/tour given by the community's founder, Frazier. The narrator and his friend, Castle, the intellectual academics with an interest in political science and public administration, immediately begin to inquire into the mode of government with which the members of the commune manage their affairs. Frazier describes the scheme of the "Board of Planners-, three men and three women who are invested with broad powers, both in policy formulation and in the judiciary of Walden Two. Frazier tells the visitors that the Planners serve for ten-year terms, reviewing the work of the "Managers- who actually carry out policy decisions. One of the visitors innocently inquires into the selection process:.
             "How do you choose your Planners?- said Rodge.
             "The Board selects a replacement from a pair of .
             names supplied by the Managers."".
             "The members don't vote for them?- said Castle.
             "No,"" said Frazier emphatically. (Page 48).
             Frazier goes on to explain that the Planners are the guiding geniuses of the project, and the Managers the managerial specialists who carry out their programs. The bellicose Castle glumly remarks that the members have "no voice whatsoever- in the decision making process, to which Frazier replies, "Nor do they wish to have."" (Page 49).
             The fate of democratic government in the utopian world depicted in behaviorist B.F. Skinner's imaginative work, Walden Two, might well trouble the visitors, and indeed the readers of the book. The commune which the narrator Burris (Skinner's first name) visits with his friends is the dream and the accomplishment of one man, Frazier, who has drawn nearly one thousand enthusiastic adherents to his idyllic rural setting with the promise of a sane, happy, efficient existence.
             At Walden Two, all human behavior is rationalized to a degree that surpasses the dreams of the most ambitious "cultural engineer-.

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