The answer is always “Yes!” what else can people say? But you don’t have to look very far below the surface to see what the real answer is. And this answer is nearly universal -“People have to be objects, part of the economic machinery – and make their needs subservient to it.”
That’s a long answer, and takes some unpacking. What are:
- Economic Machinery
By People, I mean people in Civilization – a recent development that began only a few thousand years ago. This changed us fundamentally, in ways we have never understood very well. Empires arose – that were always unstable, lasting for a thousand years at the very most.
Objects are what people became when organized into machines – such as the machine that built the pyramids. Or the militaries that soon arose. In these organizations, everyone had a role to play (a job) – that made him much larger than himself alone.
An explanation of the Economic Machinery is much more than I can attempt. This would require an explanation of how the Modern World arose, then the Reformation, and then the Industrial Revolution. I will only say this process peaked out in the middle of the 19th Century – in ended in a series of wars and economic collapses – that lasted until the middle of the 20th Century.
The most important effect of all this was a new attitude toward ourselves. We saw ourselves as part of an Economic Machine. The most powerful (and the richest) ever built.
This takes us up to the middle of the 20th Century. To a world we did not understand – and strangely enough, did not want to understand!