Lewis Mumford Quotes

Authors: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Categories: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
our-national-flower-is-the-concrete-cloverleaf
forget-the-damned-motor-car-and-build-the-cities-for-lovers-and-friends
a-man-of-courage-never-needs-weapons-but-he-may-need-bail
restore-human-legs-as-a-means-of-travel-pedestrians-rely-on-food-for-fuel-and-need-no-special-parking-facilities
traditionalists-are-pessimists-about-the-future-and-optimists-about-the-past
the-artist-does-not-illustrate-science-but-he-frequently-responds-to-the-same-interests-that-a-scientist-does
war-is-the-supreme-drama-of-a-completely-mechanized-society
every-generation-revolts-against-its-fathers-and-makes-friends-with-its-grandfathers
dont-take-the-will-for-the-deed-get-the-deed
the-ultimate-gift-conscious-life-is-sense-mystery-that-encompasses-it-lewis-mumford
the-self-holds-both-hell-heaven-lewis-mumford
life-is-art-we-are-required-to-practice-without-preparation-score-that-we-play-at-sight-even-before-we-have-mastered-our-instruments-lewis-mumford
today-degradation-inner-life-is-symbolized-by-fact-that-only-place-sacred-from-interruption-is-private-toilet-lewis-mumford
Let us fool ourselves no longer. At the very moment Western nations, threw off the ancient regime of absolute government, operating under a once-divine king, they were restoring this same system in a far more effective form in their technology, reintroducing coercions of a military character no less strict in the organization of a factory than in that of the new drilled, uniformed, and regimented army. During the transitional stages of the last two centuries, the ultimate tendency of this system might b e in doubt, for in many areas there were strong democratic reactions; but with the knitting together of a scientific ideology, itself liberated from theological restrictions or humanistic purposes, authoritarian technics found an instrument at hand that h as now given it absolute command of physical energies of cosmic dimensions. The inventors of nuclear bombs, space rockets, and computers are the pyramid builders of our own age: psychologically inflated by a similar myth of unqualified power, boasting through their science of their increasing omnipotence, if not omniscience, moved by obsessions and compulsions no less irrational than those of earlier absolute systems: particularly the notion that the system itself must be expanded, at whatever eventual co st to life. Through mechanization, automation, cybernetic direction, this authoritarian technics has at last successfully overcome its most serious weakness: its original dependence upon resistant, sometimes actively disobedient servomechanisms, still human enough to harbor purposes that do not always coincide with those of the system. Like the earliest form of authoritarian technics, this new technology is marvellously dynamic and productive: its power in every form tends to increase without limits, in quantities that defy assimilation and defeat control, whether we are thinking of the output of scientific knowledge or of industrial assembly lines. To maximize energy, speed, or automation, without reference to the complex conditions that sustain organic life, have become ends in themselves. As with the earliest forms of authoritarian technics, the weight of effort, if one is to judge by national budgets, is toward absolute instruments of destruction, designed for absolutely irrational purposes whose chief by-product would be the mutilation or extermination of the human race. Even Ashurbanipal and Genghis Khan performed their gory operations under normal human limits. The center of authority in this new system is no longer a visible personality, an all-powerful king: even in totalitarian dictatorships the center now lies in the system itself, invisible but omnipresent: all its human components, even the technical and managerial elite, even the sacred priesthood of science, who alone have access to the secret knowledge by means of which total control is now swiftly being effected, are themselves trapped by the very perfection of the organization they have invented. Like the Pharoahs of the Pyramid Age, these servants of the system identify its goods with their own kind of well-being: as with the divine king, their praise of the system is an act of self-worship; and again like the king, they are in the grip of an irrational compulsion to extend their means of control and expand the scope of their authority. In this new systems-centered collective, this Pentagon of power, there is no visible presence who issues commands: unlike job's God, the new deities cannot be confronted, still less defied. Under the pretext of saving labor, the ultimate end of this technics is to displace life, or rather, to transfer the attributes of life to the machine and the mechanical collective, allowing only so much of the organism to remain as may be controlled and manipulated.

Lewis Mumford
let-us-fool-ourselves-no-longer-at-moment-western-nations-threw-off-ancient-regime-absolute-government-operating-under-oncedivine-king-they-were-restoring-this-same-system-in-far
fool quoteslonger quotesmoment quoteswestern quotesnations quotesthrew quotesancient quotesregime quotesabsolute quotesgovernment quotesoperating quotesoncedivine quotesking quotesrestoring quotessystem quoteseffective quotesform quotestechnology quotesreintroducing quotescoercions quotesmilitary quotescharacter quotesstrict quotesorganization quotesfactory quotesdrilled quotesuniformed quotesregimented quotesarmy quotestransitional quotesstages quotescenturies quotesultimate quotestendency quotesb quotese quotesdoubt quotesareas quotesstrong quotesdemocratic quotesreactions quotesknitting quotesscientific quotesideology quotesliberated quotestheological quotesrestrictions quoteshumanistic quotespurposes quotesauthoritarian quotestechnics quotesfound quotesinstrument quoteshand quotesh quotescommand quotesphysical quotesenergies quotescosmic quotesdimensions quotesinventors quotesnuclear quotesbombs quotesspace quotesrockets quotescomputers quotespyramid quotesbuilders quotesage quotespsychologically quotesinflated quotessimilar quotesmyth quotesunqualified quotespower quotesboasting quotesscience quotesincreasing quotesomnipotence quotesomniscience quotesmoved quotesobsessions quotescompulsions quotesirrational quotesearlier quotessystems quotesnotion quotesexpanded quoteseventual quotesst quoteslife quotesmechanization quotesautomation quotescybernetic quotesdirection quotessuccessfully quotesovercome quotesweakness quotesoriginal quotesdependence quotesresistant quotesactively quotesdisobedient quotesservomechanisms quoteshuman quotesharbor quotespurposes quotescoincide quotessystem quotesearliest quotestechnics quotestechnology quotesmarvellously quotesdynamic quotesproductive quotespower quotesincrease quoteslimits quotesquantities quotesdefy quotesassimilation quotesdefeat quotescontrol quotesthinking quotesoutput quotesknowledge quotesindustrial quotesassembly quoteslines quotesmaximize quotesenergy quotesspeed quotesreference quotescomplex quotesconditions quotessustain quotesorganic quoteslife quotesends quotesforms quotesweight quoteseffort quotesjudge quotesnational quotesbudgets quotesinstruments quotesdestruction quotesdesigned quotesabsolutely quoteschief quotesbyproduct quotesmutilation quotesextermination quotesrace quotesashurbanipal quotesgenghis quoteskhan quotesperformed quotesgory quotesoperations quotesnormal quoteslimits quotescenter quotesauthority quoteslonger quotesvisible quotespersonality quotesallpowerful quotesking quotestotalitarian quotesdictatorships quoteslies quotesinvisible quotesomnipresent quotescomponents quotestechnical quotesmanagerial quoteselite quotessacred quotespriesthood quotesscience quotesaccess quotessecret quotesmeans quotestotal quotescontrol quotesswiftly quoteseffected quotestrapped quotesperfection quotesinvented quotespharoahs quotespyramid quotesage quotesservants quotesidentify quotesgoods quoteskind quoteswellbeing quotesdivine quotespraise quotesact quotesselfworship quotesgrip quotescompulsion quotesextend quotesexpand quotesscope quotesauthority quotessystemscentered quotescollective quotespentagon quotespresence quotesissues quotescommands quotesunlike quotesjobs quotesgod quotesdeities quotesconfronted quotesdefied quotespretext quotessaving quoteslabor quotesend quotesdisplace quotestransfer quotesattributes quoteslife quotesmachine quotesmechanical quotesallowing quotesorganism quotesremain quotescontrolled quotesmanipulated quotes
this-metropolitan-world-then-is-world-where-flesh-blood-is-less-real-than-paper-ink-celluloid-it-is-world-where-great-masses-people-unable-to-have-direct-contact-with-more-satisf
today-notion-progress-in-single-line-without-goal-limit-seems-perhaps-most-parochial-notion-parochial-century-lewis-mumford
safety-razors-make-it-hard-to-grow-beards-in-america-america-would-be-better-place-if-there-were-few-bearded-savage-terrible-old-men-lewis-mumford
without-leisure-there-can-be-neither-art-nor-science-nor-fine-conversation-nor-any-ceremonious-performance-offices-love-friendship-lewis-mumford
genuine-economic-value-lies-in-power-to-sustain-enrich-life-lewis-mumford
the-timelessness-art-is-its-capacity-to-represent-transformation-endless-becoming-into-being-lewis-mumford
idealism-science-continue-to-function-in-separate-compartments-yet-happiness-man-on-earth-depends-upon-their-combination-lewis-mumford
war-vies-with-magic-in-its-efforts-to-get-something-for-nothing-lewis-mumford
the-final-goal-human-effort-is-mans-selftransforma-tion-lewis-mumford
if-we-never-met-again-in-our-lives-i-should-feel-that-somehow-whole-adventure-existence-was-justified-by-my-having-met-you-lewis-mumford
in-war-army-is-not-merely-pure-consumer-but-negative-producer-lewis-mumford
the-artist-has-special-task-duty-reminding-people-their-humanity-promise-their-creativity-lewis-mumford
this-metropolitan-world-then-is-world-where-flesh-blood-is-less-real-than-paper-ink-celluloid-lewis-mumford
the-great-city-is-best-organ-memory-man-has-yet-created-lewis-mumford
he-who-touches-soil-manhattan-pavement-new-york-touches-whenever-he-knows-not-walt-whitman-lewis-mumford
every-work-art-is-abstraction-from-time-it-denies-reality-change-decay-death-lewis-mumford
im-pessimist-about-probabilities-im-optimist-about-possibilities-lewis-mumford
war-is-specific-product-civilization-lewis-mumford
the-cities-mansions-that-people-dream-are-those-in-which-they-finally-live
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