This is one of the major problems of our time, mainly because it is not recognized as a problem, but as our chief source of our pleasure – as is the case for any life-threatening addiction. Steve Jobs should not be regarded as our savior, but as the devil incarnate – a man who knew us better than we knew ourselves, and who turned our unconscious cravings against us. The same could be said for Henry Ford.
I have said our technological dependency is a life-threatening addiction. Let me amplify on that. This is not a new observation, Emerson said “Things are in the saddle and ride mankind.” And the people of his time agreed – but did nothing about it. Why? Because they had been seized by the idea of progress - not realizing that meant the progress of technology, but the neglect of man.
The dynamic here is simple: the human species has a one-track mind and can only focus on one major preoccupation at a time. Usually this is religion, and rulers have always used this to their advantage. If Christianity became a widespread religious enthusiasm, for example, the solution was simple: make it the religion of the Empire. If the Empire collapsed as a result – that was just too bad. The Empire was not to benefit the people, but the select, decadent few – the exact opposite of the values of the Roman Republic.
In present-day America, business has become our religion – a secular religion, true, but a religion nevertheless. And business, ever since the Industrial Revolution, has been focused on technology. But also, and this has become very important, on controlling the mind of the public – who have only one function: to consume.
Apologists for the Power Complex (the so-called Conservative think-tanks) will agree with much of the above – but insist nevertheless that the situation is not serious – and in fact is improving! A better day is just around the corner, therefore, not to worry. The people don’t really believe this pitch, they know their situation is serious, and they are scrambling to be on the winning side – the side of the rich and powerful.
And the world is entering into another Middle Ages – a high-tech totalitarianism where the people are as stupid as mud. I have been there, been part of its craziness, and know what I am talking about.