Garet Garrett Ouroboros or the Mechanical Extension of Mankind Chapter VII “Dim Vistas New”
It must occur to you that what the world requires to find is a new conception of commerce among nations — one that shall be free of the predatory impulse, above the exploiting motive, competitive in some nobler sense.
This is very different from parasitism, which is one-sided, for gain only. And there is a very curious suggestion that organisms now existing together in a state of permanent symbiotic union were once parasitic and learned better.
I first picked up this slim volume because the title reminded me of Marshall McLuhan’s formulation of media as prosthetics. What I found was a treatise on macro economics. What I found in its confrontation of peasant and industrial interests was the foreshadowing of the growing importance of agribusiness.
In the language of the economist, the agricultural index will rise and the industrial index will fall. It will require a greater quantity of manufactures to buy a bushel of wheat; fewer bushels of wheat to buy a manufactured article. This will not be for one year or two. It will be lasting. It will affect the status of great groups and classes of people. In the cities and industrial centres the cost of living will move in a vertical manner.
Garrett concludes in an open ended fashion:
In any light, man’s further task is Jovian. That is to learn how best to live with these powerful creatures of his mind, how to give their fecundity a law and their functions a rhythm, how not to employ them in error against himself — since he cannot live without them.
The solution to surplus production is twofold: nurture the fashion system and harness to this system, storage. The surplus can serve as an archive for the self-renewing moves of the fashion system. Ouroboros, indeed.
And so for day 263