Arnold J Toynbee - The British at Work TV - Adam Smith - Noam Chomsky - Friedrich Engels - George Orwell & 1984 - Osbert Lancaster - Norman Borlaug - Robert Tressell - The Lightbulb Conspiracy 2010 - Engineering & Creativity
We shall have to share out the fruits of technology among the whole of mankind. The notion that the direct and immediate producers of the fruits of technology have a proprietary right to these fruits will have to be forgotten. After all, who is the producer? Man is a social animal, and the immediate producer has been helped to produce by the whole structure of society, beginning with his own education. Arnold J Toynbee, Surviving the Future, 1971
The late ’60s would be remembered for many things. But increased productivity was not one of them. The British at Work: Them and US 1964-1980, BBC 2011
Consumption is the sole end and purpose of production; and the interest of the producer ought to be attended to only so far as it may be necessary for promoting that of the customer. Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations, 1776
From the 1970s, there has been a significant change in the US economy, as planners, private and state, shifted it toward financialization and the offshoring of production, driven in part by the declining rate of profit in domestic manufacturing. Noam Chomsky
The core of the problem is the massive production for private profit, not for need, and the use of the fossil fuels when we have to be phasing them out and moving towards total sustainable energy, no emissions, within decades. Noam Chomsky, interview Going Underground, RT September 2020
In making itself the master of all the means of production to use them in accordance with a social plan, society puts an end to the former subjection of men to their own means of production. It goes without saying that society cannot free itself unless every individual is freed. The old mode of production must therefore be revolutionised from top to bottom, and in particular the former division of labour must disappear. Its place must be taken by an organisation of production in which, on the one hand, no individual can throw on the shoulders of others his share in productive labour, this natural condition of human existence; and in which, on the other hand, productive labour, instead of being a means of subjugating men, will become a means of their emancipation, by offering each individual the opportunity to develop all his faculties, physical and mental, in all directions and exercise them to the full – in which, therefore, productive labour will become a pleasure instead of being a burden. Friedrich Engels
Brothers and sisters, the battle for production has been won. 1984 1984 starring John Hurt & Richard Burton & Suzanna Hamilton & Cyril Cusack & Gregor Fisher & James Walker & Andrew Wilde & Corina Seddon & Rupert Baderman & John Boswall et al, director Michael Radford, Big Brother
All over the country the latest and most scientific methods of mass-production are being utilized to turn out a stream of old oak beams, leaded window-panes and small discs of bottle-glass, all structural devices which our ancestors lost no time in abandoning as soon as an increase in wealth and knowledge enabled them to do so. Osbert Lancaster, Pillar to Post, 1938
There are no miracles in agricultural production. Norman Borlaug
Most of the people who do nothing get the best of everything. More than three-quarters of the time of the working classes is spent in producing the things used by the wealthy. Robert Tressell, The Ragged Trousered Philanthropist
‘I mean this,’ replied Owen, speaking very slowly, ‘Everything is produced by the people … in return for their work they are given – Money and the things they have made become the property of the people who do nothing. Then, as the money is of no use, the workers go to shops and give it away in exchange for some of the things they themselves have made.’ ibid.
The outlook for the approaching winter was – as usual – gloomy in the extreme. One of the leading daily newspapers published an article prophesying a period of severe industrial depression. ‘As the warehouses were glutted with the things produced by the working classes, there was no need for them to do any more work – at present; and so they would now have to go and starve until such time as their masters had sold or consumed the things already produced.’ ibid.
Even under the present silly system of restricted production, with the majority of the population engaged in useless, unproductive, unnecessary work, and large numbers never doing any work at all, there is enough produced to go all round after a fashion. ibid.
A part inside the printer has failed, and the manufacturer sends Marcos to Technical Support. It’s no coincidence that all three shopkeepers suggest buying a new printer. If he agrees, Marcus will become another victim of planned obsolescence, the secret mechanism at the heart of our consumer society. The Lightbulb Conspiracy, 2010
Planned obsolescence has defined our lives ever since the 1920s when manufacturers started shortening the lives of products to increase consumer demand. ibid.
Shelly’s formula for a long-lasting filament is not the only mystery in the history of the lightbulb; a much bigger secret is how the humble lightbulb became the first victim of planned obsolescence. ibid.
‘In 1925 the appointed a group called The 1000 Hour Life Committee. ibid.
‘It’s just designed to fail.’ ibid. investigator of broken printers
‘But in the ipod, this expensive piece of hardware, when the battery died you had to replace the entire unit.’ ibid. investigator of broken ipods
Planned obsolescence produces a constant stream of waste which is shipped to third-world countries. ibid.