Horowitz's center

Doug Henwood dhenwood at panix.com
Wed Mar 10 07:06:55 PST 1999

Carl Remick wrote:

>Sam, I think that technological advance itself can pose an enormous
>danger to society, irrespective of whether capitalists or socialists
>"control" technological advance. I thoroughly agree with Jacques Ellul
>(The Technological Society, 1954) that "technique" -- i.e., "the
>totality of methods rationally arrived at and having absolute efficiency
>(for a given state of development) in every field of human activity" --
>threatens to swallow humankind whole. Ellul loathed capitalism, but he
>saw efficiency-driven technological determinism as the greatest social
>threat of all. IMO, he makes a good case.

All technology? All efficiency? Sometimes this attitude is indistinguishable from an aristocratic contempt for innovation and massness. Didn't Lord somebody-or-other object to the railroad because it would only encourage the lower orders to travel needlessly about?


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