And for this reason can be eliminated – and should be eliminated, because they only get in the way.
As you can see, this is a pessimistic view of things. But I think it is the way things are – and we have to pull this out of the air we live in and put it into words. Although language is an imperfect tool, it is the best one we have – and we should use it constructively – not destructively.
What I see happening – or, more accurately, feel happening – is the belief that the world is ruled by impersonal forces – such as those at work in any machine. What these forces are, we have no idea. We only know they are there – and are in control. And they don’t want people interfering with their operation.
Wiser minds than mind can deduce what these forces (or laws) are, and how they operate. And indeed, this has always been the function of the arts and sciences. To make us understand ourselves better. But people are no longer interested in this.
They are not interested in the way things are – but in something much better than that. Something that seems to be a new religion. One that believes in the impersonal forces I have mentioned. Religion has always believed in these, in one form or another. Devout Marxists, for example, have their own religion.
Our religion now seems to involve the workings of The Market - which must be in control - and not us. The Global Market was made possible by the latest technology. The computer and its software – and the Internet and Wireless networks.
It doesn’t take much poking at The Market to see what is really going on there. It is a return to the rule of the rich and powerful – but in a new form – the interlocking organizations that now control everything. People have no idea what these are – but they know they are there – and they have the all-important jobs.
And we now must consider the nature of jobs. These are a relatively new invention – invented, in fact, by the Industrial Revolution. People have always had roles in the societies they belonged to – and this is what made them important. Society could not work without them.
But now, in the post-industrial world, jobs (manufacturing jobs, for example) are being eliminated – and people along with them. This simple statement has far-reaching implications.
I was born in a railroad town, Ft. Madison, Iowa – where everyone worked for the Santa Fe Railroad – either directly, or more commonly, indirectly. The last time I was there, my brother and I noticed a sign that indicated we were looking at the Historical Santa Fe Town. There was nothing there. It is now part of the Rust Belt that covers the American Midwest.
I cannot say it was a great loss. Industrial America was no great beauty. In fact, it was ugly – but it was alive. We now have to deal with the fact that it is not.
And we have nothing to take its place.