The shortcomings of economics are not original error but uncorrected obsolescence. The obsolescence has occurred because what is convenient has become sacrosanct. Anyone who attacks such ideas must seem to be a trifle self-confident and even aggressive. The man who makes his entry by leaning against an infirm door gets an unjustified reputation for violence. Something is to be attributed to the poor state of the door.
John Kenneth Galbraith
Because we lack a divine Center our need for security has led us into an insane attachment to things. We really must understand that the lust for affluence in contemporary society is psychotic. It is psychotic because it has completely lost touch with reality. We crave things we neither need nor enjoy. 'We buy things we do not want to impress people we do not like'. Where planned obsolescence leaves off, psychological obsolescence takes over. We are made to feel ashamed to wear clothes or drive cars until they are worn out. The mass media have convinced us that to be out of step with fashion is to be out of step with reality. It is time we awaken to the fact that conformity to a sick society is to be sick. Until we see how unbalanced our culture has become at this point, we will not be able to deal with the mammon spirit within ourselves nor will we desire Christian simplicity.
Richard J. Foster
It has to be acknowledged that in capitalist society, with its herds of hippies, originality has become a sort of fringe benefit, a mere convention, accepted obsolescence, the Beatnik model being turned in for the Hippie model, as though strangely obedient to capitalist laws of marketing.
The sumptuous age of stars and images is reduced to a few artificial tornado effects, pathetic fake buildings, and childish tricks which the crowd pretends to be taken in by to avoid feeling too disappointed. Ghost towns, ghost people. The whole place has the same air of obsolescence about it as Sunset or Hollywood Boulevard.
Only one rational path is open to us - simultaneous de-development of the [overdeveloped countries] and semi-development of the underdeveloped countries (UDCs), in order to approach a decent and ecologically sustainable standard of living for all in between. By de-development we mean lower per-capita energy consumption, fewer gadgets, and the abolition of planned obsolescence.
In many ways, constancy is an illusion. After all, our ancestors were immigrants, many of them moving on every few years; today we are migrants in time. Unless teachers can hold up a model of lifelong learning and adaptation, graduates are likely to find themselves trapped into obsolescence as the world changes around them. Of any stopping place in life, it is good to ask whether it will be a good place from which to go on as well as a good place to remain.
Mary Catherine Bateson
Unfortunately, once an economy is geared to expansion, the means rapidly turn into an end and "the going becomes the goal." Even more unfortunately, the industries that are favored by such expansion must, to maintain their output, be devoted to goods that are readily consumable either by their nature, or because they are so shoddily fabricated that they must soon be replaced. By fashion and built-in obsolescence the economies of machine production, instead of producing leisure and durable wealth, are duly cancelled out by the mandatory consumption on an even larger scale.
The effect of the post-Enlightenment project for human society is that all human activity is absorbed into labor. It becomes an unending cycle of production for the sake of consumption. The modern concept of "built-in obsolescence" makes this clear. The cycle of production and consumption has to be kept going, and the work of the artist or craftsman who aims to create something enduring becomes marginal to the economic order.
Some make their worlds without knowing it. Their universes are just sesame seeds and three-day weekends and dial tones and skinned knees and physics and driftwood and emerald earrings and books dropped in bathtubs and holes in guitars and plastic and empathy and hardwood and heavy water and high black stockings and the history of the Vikings and brass and obsolescence and burnt hair and collapsed souffles and the impossibility of not falling in love in an art museum with the person standing next to you looking at the same painting and all the other things that just happen and are.
Jonathan Safran Foer
Once out of the mailroom, I began to learn more about fear. As soon as fear begins to ascend, anatomically, from the pit of the stomach to the throat and brain, from fear of violence to the more nameless kind, you come to believe you are part of a horrible experiment. I learned to distrust those superiors who encouraged independent thinking. When you gave it to them, they returned it in the form of terror, for they knew that ideas, only that, could hasten their obsolescence. Management asked for new ideas all the time; memos circulated down the echelons, requesting bold and challenging concepts. But I learned that new ideas could finish you unless you wrapped them in a plastic bag. I learned that most of the secretaries were more intelligent than most of the executives and that the executive secretaries were to be feared more than anyone. I learned what closed doors meant and that friendship was not negotiable currency and how important it was to lie even when there was no need to lie. Words and meanings were at odds. Words did not say what was being said nor even its reverse. I learned to speak a new language and soon mastered the special elements of that tongue.