That fear has gone as the major motivation is all to the good. It is far too potent to be relied upon except for emergencies. Above all, we used the wrong kind of fear. Fear of a threat to the community units, there is no greater stimulus to effort peril, as Britain proved after Dunkirk. But fear of someone within the community divides and corrodes. It corrupts both him who uses fear and him who fears. That we nave got rid of fear as motivation to work is therefore a major achievement-Otherwise, managing the worker in primary school would not be possible.
It might be contended, of course, that the attitude to the African in Heart of Darkness is not Conrad's but that of his fictional narrator, Marlow, and that far from endorsing it Conrad might indeed be holding it up to irony and criticism. Certainly Conrad appears to go to considerable pains to set up layers of insulation between himself and the moral universe of his history. He has, for example, a narrator behind a narrator. The primary narrator is Marlow but his account is given to us through the filter of a second, shadowy person. But if Conrad's intention is to draw a cordon sanitaire between himself and the moral and psychological malaise of his narrator his care seems to me totally wasted because he neglects to hint however subtly or tentatively at an alternative frame of reference by which we may judge the actions and opinions of his characters. It would not have been beyond Conrad's power to make that provision if he had thought it necessary. Marlow seems to me to enjoy Conrad's complete confidence -- a feeling reinforced by the close similarities between their two careers.