Archive for June, 2009

Emma Goldman on technology

You are entirely right, dear Evelyn, when you say that the “simplification introduced by the machine is useful for manipulating thousands” and that “changes wrought by machine intervention are completely on the external side and leave the real battle which has to be fought from within the person.” Certainly the machine has become a fetish eulogized by every shade of Marxian schools. We Anarchists have realized this modern superstitution long ago. This is why we have insisted that… instead of [man] being subjugated to the machine, [the latter] must be so directed as to take very little time from man so that he may gain time and leisure for his inner growth and development. Above all, the use of the machine must be so directed as to take very little time from man so that he may learn to appreciate the quality and beauty of things he produces.

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from Vision on Fire: Emma Goldman on the Spanish Revolution, ed. David Porter (Edinburgh, Oakland, West Virginia: AK Press, 1983/2006), p 316.

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