The following is an excerpt from a book called Four Arguments For the Elimination Of Television
A book I can highly recommend anyone to read that want a deeper understanding of the impact of technology on human beings and our relation to the real world and so on. It was first released in 1978 and is written by a man named Jerry Mander. I find this segment of the book, called the creation of ”value”, a highly interesting and exemplary analysis of a huge problem with capitalism and itself might not say much about the title of the book but believe me, this book has changed the view I have on technology forever.
Anyway, here it is and I will post a link at the end to where you can buy the book, if you so wish, and read more reviews and so of it.
”In transforming natural environments into artificial form, the United States is the most advanced country in the world. This is not an accident. It is inherent in our economic system. To the capitalist, profit-oriented mind, there is not outrage so great as the existence of some unmediated nook or cranny of creation which has not been converted into a new form that then can be sold for money. This is because in the act of converting the natural into the artificial, something with no inherent economic values becomes ”productive” in the capitalist sense.
An uninhabited desert is ”nonproductive” unless it can be mined for uranium or irrigated for farms or covered with tracts of homes. A forest of uncut trees is nonproductive. A piece of land which has not been built upon is nonproductive. Coal or oil that remains in the ground is nonproductive. Animals living wildly are nonproductive.
Virtually any land, any space, any material, any time that remains in an original, unprocessed, unconverted form is an outrage to the sensibilities of the capitalist mind. Iron, tungsten, trees, oil, sulphur, jaguars and open space are searched out and transformed because transformation creates economic benefits for the transformers. In economics this transformation has a name: ”value added.” Value added derives from all the processes that alter a raw material from something which has no intrinsic economic value to something which does. Each change in form, say, from iron ore in the ground to iron or steel to car to car which heavily advertised adds value to the material. The only raw materials which have intrinsic economic value before processing are gold and silver. This is only because people have agreed on these values in order to define a value for paper money, which certainly has no intrinsic value. It is, then, the nature of profit seeking to convert as much as possible of what has not been processed and exists in its own right into something which has the potential for economic gain.”
page 117-118, Four Arguments For the Elimination Of Television by Jerry Mander