Arnold J. Toynbee Quotes

We shall have to share out the fruits of technology among the whole of mankind. The notion that the direct and immediate producers of the fruits of technology have a proprietary right to these fruits will have to be forgotten. After all, who is the producer? Man is a social animal, and the immediate producer has been helped to produce by the whole structure of society, beginning with his own education.

This is a very different view from the prevailing American legal and cultural view. The United States grants patents and copyrights even when the taxpayer has paid for much of the research and development, even when the inventor was educated by the state. The difference is an intellectual and philosophical one. America is anxious to incentivize people to create and invent and especially to encourage capital to flow to R&D. Toynbee comes from an intellectual tradition where science and technology was the finest in the world, but it was done by the well-to-do for the sake of doing it. Both approaches had been immensely success for their times, but the need for technological development is so great that we should not limit it to the people of wealth and a social class for whom money may not be a driver while it is for most others.

Arnold J. Toynbee, 1899-1975, British Historian, Surviving the Future, 1971

Eigen's Political and Historical Quotations

Arnold J. Toynbee
Arnold J. Toynbee
  • Born: April 14, 1889
  • Died: October 22, 1975
  • Nationality: British
  • Profession: Historian

Arnold Joseph Toynbee, CH, FBA was a British historian, philosopher of history, author of numerous books and research professor of international history at the London School of Economics and King's College in the University of London. Toynbee in the 1918–1950 period was a leading specialist on international affairs.