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Voorkant Miller 'Lewis Mumford - A life' Donald MILLER
Lewis Mumford - A life
New York: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1989; 628 blzn.; ISBN: 15 5584 2445

[Dit is een erg mooie biografie van (landschaps)architect en techniekfilosoof-tegen-wil-en-dank Lewis Mumford, een Amerikaan die leefde van 1895-1990. Miller werkte met het echtpaar Mumford samen en kreeg toegang tot persoonlijke documenten die nog niemand onder ogen had gekregen, maar tegelijkertijd heeft hij een verfrissende nuchterheid behouden in zijn samenvatting van Mumfords bijzonder productieve leven. Mumford komt in de biografie naar voren als principieel-idealistisch (tegen onderhandelingen met Hitler, tegen het gebruik en de ontwikkeling van de atoombom, tegen de heksenjacht van McCarthy, tegen de Vietnamoorlog) én realistisch ("het leven is beter dan utopia" schreef hij ooit). Zijn morele activisme in de conservatieve en chauvinistische VS heeft hem persoonlijk heel wat gekost, maar desondanks bleef hij overeind. Ik kan het boek natuurlijk niet stap voor stap samenvatten, maar noteer de dingen die me opvallen en concentreer me vooral op zijn gedachten over techniekfilosofie / de technische samenleving.]

Invloeden

Mumford heeft geen gemakkelijke jeugd gehad en dat heeft misschien gemaakt dat een reguliere intellectuele loopbaan onmogelijk bleek en hij een originele en frisse kijk kon ontwikkelen op de dingen die hem interesseerden. Hij groeide op in Manhattan, in armoede, zonder vader. Daardoor ontwikkelde hij een voorliefde voor soberheid en eenvoud. Hij werd niet opgevoed met een geloof en bezocht geen kerk, en 'desondanks' hield hij erg sterke ethische overtuigingen op na. Emerson, Thoreau en dergelijke denkers hadden altijd zijn sympathie.

"Self-understanding, self-control, self-direction, and self-transcendence: mankinds's hope, Mumford would argue in all his writings, lies in an increase in these, not in an increase in power and wealth."(7)

Hij wilde in eerste instantie elektroingenieur worden, maar leerde tijdens zijn verblijf op de Stuyvesant High School dat dat toch niet de loopbaan was die hij nastreefde. Hij wilde uiteindelijk eerder schrijver worden, maar de opleiding die hij graag wilde - de Pulitzer School of Journalism - was te duur. Hij ging werken en tegelijkertijd deed hij avondstudies aan het City College vanaf 1912. Dat laatste had een grote invloed op hem: inspirerende docenten, vrienden met wie hij in discussie kon tijdens de avondstudie en lange wandelingen in het weekeinde. Daarbij deed hij verdere kennis op van kritieken op het kapitalisme, al heeft hij nooit gekozen voor een deelname aan socialistische en communistische bewegingen en geloofde hij zeker niet in 'de proletarische revolutie'.

"At City College a new universe opened up to Mumford, the world of Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, and William James; and he could not get enough of it."(50)

Hij werd enorm beïnvloed door Patrick Geddes, een Schotse botanist, socioloog en stedenplanner, een ecologisch en holistisch denker avant la lettre.

"But initially it was not Geddes the city planner and sociologist that Mumford was most strongly drawn to; it was Geddes the educator and activist, who called for the development of the total person, of all our capacities for reason and calculation, passion and poetry, mental work and full-bodied living."(57)

"A surprising number of these earliest notes reveal ideas and themes Mumford would spend the rest of his life trying to develop and substantiate. They show, for example, an early environmental awareness that would mark all his mature work, and there is also sensitivity to the importance of placing limits on physical growth (an outgrowth, perhaps, of his reading of Geddes and the Greeks) and of the need to distribute the fruits of economic growth more equitably. "All matter and energy is a gift. No one has created it, no one has earned it, no one 'deserves' it, and therefore no individual or institution should be allowed to appropriate it selfishly. Man's economic function is simply to wrap Nature's gift in convenient parcels for wider distribution ...""(67)

[Prachtige uitspraak, ik ben het daar van harte en volledig mee eens.]

"Later, Mumford would turn Geddes's idea of insurgency [wat staat voor dat mensen niet volledig door de evolutie geconditioneerd worden, maar er zelf ook een tranformerende rol in spelen - GdG] into an argument for human control of technology, insisting that while the machine has long dominated us, we have within ourselves the capacity to regain control of our lives and our futures. This was the idea upon which he would build his final book on technology and culture."(70)

Zijn interesse in de groei van de stad en de 'suburbs' nam toe, waarbij hij zich zowel liet inspireren door een Franse groep geografen die vonden dat decentralisatie van steden rekening moest houden met geografische kenmerken als door Ebenezer Howard die schreef over de tuinsteden in de United Kingdom zoals Welwyn Garden City.

"By the end of 1917, Mumford had found a clearer direction for his life. He would not be a city planner or an architect. His task, he decided, would be "to enlarge the vision" of those who did the actual planning and building."(88-89)

Vanaf dat moment doet Mumford er alles aan om een succesvol schrijver te worden. Hij bouwde daartoe een discipline op waarmee hij zich bijvoorbeeld dwong om minstens 1000 woorden per dag te schrijven, of hij daar nu zin in had of niet. Hij maakte ook deel uit van een groep van mensen - in die groep bijvoorbeeld Irwin Granich (Michael Gold) - die hij grotendeels nog kende van de avondstudies aan het City College en met wie hij uitging in 'the Village', het centrum van het (linkse) kunstleven in die tijd.

"For a time the two friends [Granich en Mumford - GdG] shared a common social dream - that of a cooperative community of free and equal men - or at least Mumford thought they did. When Mumford first met him Granich was an anarchist and a committed decentralist, strongly drawn, with Mumford, to the ideas of Peter Kropotkin, the Russian anarchist. It was Granich who introduced Mumford to the anarchist Ferrer Society in Harlem, where in 1917 Mumford gave his first public lecture, on Kropotkin and the philosophy of regionalism. But while Mumford was moving toward a new appreciation of regional decentralization, Granich was moving in the opposite direction, toward revolutionary centralism. Following the Bolshevik Revolution, Granich (now Michael Gold) began to preach for an immediate revolution in this country to plant a dictatorship of the proletariat. Mumford, temperamentally more conservative and far less angry about things, preferred the peaceful, gradualist approach of Geddes and Howard, and he distrusted Granich's mystical idealization of the proletariat.
Mumford had not read Marx closely, but he had heard socialist speakers giving their version of the doctrine on street corners on his way to City College, and later, with Granich, in the socialist clubs and restaurants of the Village. What Mumford heard and what he read did not impress him. His desire for a more humane economic system emerged from Plato, Ruskin, Morris, Tolstoy, and Kropotkin, not from Marx or Engels.(98-99)"()

Vanaf 1919 gaat Mumford als 'editor bij The Dial werken, een tijdschrift voor literatuur, cultuur en politiek. Mumford kwam er heel wat 'grote namen' tegen. Thorstein Veblen werkte er bijvoorbeeld. Hij ontmoette er ook zijn toekomstige vrouw Sophia Wittenberg. De gebeurtenissen in Rusland werden door intellectuelen met belangstelling, door anderen met argusogen gevolgd, en tegelijkertijd was er in de VS sprake van fanatiek chauvinistisch verzet tegen iedereen die pacifistische, socialistische of communistische ideeën had: censuur, juridisch getreiter, etc. waren aan de orde van de dag. The Dial werd door de eigenaar bliksemsnel omgevormd tot een puur literair tijdschrift en mensen als Mumford werden ontslagen. Maar in 1920 kreeg hij nieuwe kansen door een uitnodiging van Geddes en zijn assistent Branford. Na een kort verblijf in London keert hij echter al gauw terug naar New York, omdat hij zijn onafhankelijkheid dreigde te verliezen onder Branford en omdat hij met Amerikaanse thema's bezig wilde zijn.

"Branford's interpretation of the role of religion as the binding element in all human communities is a theme Mumford would return to much later in his career, when it would form the crux of several of his most important books."(125)

[Nou, ik hoop maar in negatieve zin. Het zou me tegenvallen van Mumford wanneer hij religie ineens belangrijk zou gaan vinden. Een en ander is beschreven in zijn The Condition of Man van 1944waar het gaat over religieuze waarden. Miller is niet erg te spreken over het boek, noemt het zelfs pompeus.]

The Story of Utopias

Begin 1920-er jaren leefde Mumford met zijn vrouw in Greenwich Village, New York. Hij verdiende zijn geld als freelance schrijver. Hij begon te schrijven voor het tijdschrift The Freeman, bouwde een sociaal netwerk op, ging uit, maar was toch niet helemaal tevreden met het leven dat hij leidde.

"His problem was that he had so many ideas for a book that he had trouble focusing on any one."(155)

Kern van de zaak: hij wilde zowel literatuur (m.n. theaterstukken) schrijven als nonfictie, en het werd hem pas langzaamaan duidelijk (gemaakt) dat hij voor het laatste moest kiezen. Resultaat werd in 1922 zijn eerste grote werk: The Story of Utopias.

"In the Story of Utopias Mumford first addressed that dominating idea and theme - the rise of the machine and the mechanistic outlook in the Western world. Here also he developed a closely related theme that runs through all his later work - the idea of the creative artist as prophet and revolutionary. In this vividly written book Mumford presented a program for a new kind of American radical movement, inspired and led not by insurgent politicians or aroused proletarians but by "creators and originators" in the mold of Emerson, Whitman, and Thoreau. "(163)

"The Story of Utopias is about the collapse of modern political ideology. The war and the political repression that followed convinced Mumford of the inadequacy of both liberalism and socialism, which had as their common moral foundation a faith in irreversible human improvement through the advance of science, technology, and social planning. There was a need for a new social philosophy alert to the destructive capacity of modern technology and appreciative of the limitations of social planning as an instrument of human improvement.
Although a hopeful book, one that aimed to give his generation a new vision to live by, The Story of Utopias is persistently anti-utopian in argument and emphasis, as Mumford found most of the classic utopias he investigated hopelessly weak and inadequate. (...) These machine-age utopias [van Bacon en Bellamy bijvoorbeeld - GdG] were too rigidly planned and too reliant upon technology to bring about the good life."(165)

"It was this very ideal [van liberalisme en socialisme - GdG] of everincreasing material growth, the modern idea of 'progress', that Mumford assailed, calling instead for a human ethic committed to the ancient Greek ideals of measure, balance, and economic sufficiency, not to the achievement of limitless economic abundance.
Moreover, like Plato and Emerson, Mumford held strongly to the notion that the good life involves more than a reordering of economic and political institutions. While essential, this would have to be preceded by a transformation of the mechanistic mode of life - the psychological submission to the machine process and the power state - that had created a new personality type - bureaucratic man - in capitalist and socialist societies. Mumford called for a complete transformation of the consciousness of industrial man, the creation of a 'new humanism', an organic mode of thinking and acting that recognizes " the inner and the outer, the subjective ans the objective, the world known to personal intuition and that described by science [as] a single experience". While some radicals expected such a value change to occur after the revolution, for Mumford, this change was the revolution."(166)

"Unlike the Utopians he wrote about, Mumford was not driven by the dream of social perfection. The world would never be swept clean of evil and injustice, so rather than trying to imagine an impossible 'no-place' where all was well the modern reformer should concentrate on the practical task of building Eutopia, the best place possible."(167)

Architectuurkritiek

Na de verschijning van dit boek werkt Mumford aan een architectuurkritiek in Sticks and Stones, die grote invloed heeft uitgeoefend.

"More than this, his criticism had a strong, almost old-fashioned moral point of view. He never let architects and urban planners forget that their work had moral as well as aesthetic consequences. They had a responsibility to help create what he called 'the good life' for all citizens, not just for a privileged few."(170)

"But for Mumford the skyscaper was a principal cause and symbol for everything that had gone wrong with Walt Whitman's 'Manahatta': its overgrowth, its congestion, its noise, its dizzying pace, its almost suicidal vitality, its never-ending pursuit of the dollar."(176)

"Behind all of Mumford's early ideas on design is a plea for what he called an organic architecture, a harmonious reconciliation of function and feeling. In the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright he found such a synthesis."(182)

"Mumford, who never drove a car in his life, would become one of this country's fiercest critics of what he called the religion of the automobile ..."(204)

"Mumford saw the garden city as more than an alternative to the overgrown metropolis. The garden city movement was to be one of the first social challenges to the dominant growth ideology of the West, and would, he hoped, open the way to a new age of urban and rural resettlement, of limits to growth, and ecological balance. The changes Mumford argued for were not just changes in living places, but changes in living habits. Without such a complete reorientation of values, these planned communities, he argued in 1927, could not survive in a culture dominated by the twin drives for profit and physical expansion."(206)

Naar aanleiding van het volgende boek The Golden Day - een cultuurgeschiedenis van de Verenigde Staten:

"Like Emerson, Mumford would speak out against the injustices of his day, but he never joined any political movements or sects. This isolated him and made him less effective in the short term, but it allowed him to keep his integrity intact and his ideas remarkably consistent throughout a lifelong struggle for a reconstructed world."(247)

"With other more celebrated critcs of modernist theory like Herbert Marcuse, Max Horkheimer, and the Dutch historian Johan Huizinga, Mumford rebelled against the behaviorist dismissal of all realms of experience that could not be counted, measured, or observed."(251)

En over zijn biografie van Herman Melville:

"He had never been an innocent believer in the perfectability of man; even his book about utopias was an avowedly anti-utopian tract. But from his Melville biography on, he did place greater emphasis in his work upon the impossibility of any final or complete resolution of social problems and of the unavoidable tragedy of the human condition. (...)
The deteriorating state of civilization, the onset of an age marked by economic depression, fascism, total war, and nuclear annihilation, influenced him in this direction, but just as important was his confrontation with Herman Melville."(290)

Door de economische crisis van 1929 radicaliseerden politieke partijen zowel links als rechts. Er was alom kritiek op de New Deal en Mumford sympathiseerde op afstand met het streven van socialistische en communistische partijen naar maatschappelijke verandering in de VS.

"Mumford's so-called communism was a creature of his own creation. Broadly and briefly stated, it envisioned an economic system that substituted social welfare for private gain as the chief aim in production, and that transferred the legal rights of ownership in land from individual property owners to the community - in effect, the original garden city principle of Ebenezer Howard. Furthermore communism, to him, meant that the government establish a minimum guaranteed income for every citizen; that this be a right of citizenship. Once this was done, however, he urged that government move immediately to slow down the pace of industrialism and "turn society from its feverish preoccupation with money-making inventions, goods, profits, salemanship ... to the deliberate promotion of the more humane functions of life". This he upheld as the driving aim of what he called not the Red, but 'the Green Republic'."(295-296)

Daarbij wilde hij een nationale planning en distributie voor de basale behoeften, maar - i.t.t. de communisten - verder niet: zo veel mogelijk moesten beslissingen en plannen op lokaal niveau genomen / gemaakt worden.

"Mumford was not unaware of the role technology could play in reducing poverty; poverty was more dehumanizing, in his view, than any machine. Nonetheless, he continued to describe the good life in nonmaterial terms, and to advocate constraints on economic growth, even at a time when one out of five American workers was unemployed.
Mumford's proposed stationary state challenged the standard American approach to social justice - an approach emphasizing expansion rather than fair division. America's usual way of meeting the economic needs of the lower and middle classes has been to increase the overall economic output, thereby raising the income of all classes, while leaving the wealth of the upper strata virtually untouched. But in the economy of 'basic communism', as he called his economic system, the claims of the lower classes for a decent income would be met by diminishing the income of the upper groups. All would be forced to accept 'a normalized standard of consumption', a term Mumford never adequately described. Mumford hoped that the constraints of growth would, in this way, encourage a cooperative ethic and more disciplined consumption habits."(296)

Technics and Civilization

Een tijdje later schrijft hij Technics and Civilization als onderdeel van de Renewal of Life-serie.

"That summer [van 1932 - GdG] Mumford's best days were spent alone in quiet study in the spacious library of Munich's Deutsches Museum. There, with the help of its director, Oskar von Miller, he discovered studies on technology written in German and French that no American scholars had consulted."(322)

"Mumford's heavy program of reading for his new book reinforced his conviction that the commanding problem of the current age was Western society's unquestioning commitment to material progress, a strongly planted faith that involved an almost complete abdication to the machine and machine processes. In Technics and Civilization he traces the rise and triumph of this cult of the machine in the Western world, recording its often debasing impact upon imagination, free choice, and creative living. (Mumford borrowed the word 'technics' from Oswald Spengler, and used it to designate the industrial arts themselves, as distinguished from their systematic study, technology."(326)

"Technics and Civilization is a pioneering work in the history of technology, a book that would begin to establish Mumford as this century's leading critic of the machine age. Along with Siegfried Giedion's later work Mechanization Takes Command, published in America in 1948, and Abbott Payson Usher's more narrowly focused study A History of Mechanical Inventions (1929), it created the new field of the history of technology. It is both the first full-scale study in the English language of the rise of the machine in the modern world and one of the first scholarly studies in any language to emphasize the interplay of technology and the surrounding culture."(328)

"For Mumford, then, the emergence of the machine was fundamentally a mental revolution, a movement from organic to mechanical thinking; this is in direct contradiciton with Karl Marx, who saw technology shaping values and ideas, and not the reverse. Mumford's refusal to see the machine as a force independent of human will and purpose explains the underlying optimism of Technics and Civilization. Rejecting all forms of technological or economic determinism, he insists that human desires, decisions, and dreams influenced the course of modern invention fully as much as the invention influenced the modern sensibility. Our modern machine world was a creation of human effort and will, and any thoroughgoing change would first involve a change in values and social priorities. Mumford had said this before, but from this point forward this theme became the theme of his life and art."(329)

Bijvoorbeeld in het volgende boek dat hij schreef: The Culture of Cities. De kritieken waren lovend, maar later is wel opgemerkt dat hij weinig aandacht besteedde aan de strategie voor verandering in de richting die hij beschreef. Ook had hij niet veel gevoel voor het klassenkarakter van een samenleving.

En toen brak WO II uit. Mumford vond al in de 1930-er jaren dat er hard opgetreden moest worden tegen het fascisme en kon er niet over uit dat allerlei liberalen en linkse intellectuelen buiten de oorlog wilden blijven. Hij pakte het liberalisme aan in zijn boek Faith for Living. Allerlei mensen vielen over hem heen, temeer omdat hij zelf gezwegen had over de toestanden in Stalins Rusland. In de jaren erna schrijft hij aan zijn studie van religieuze waarden: The Condition of Man.

"From this point forward, The Condition of Man is an elaborate reiteration of Mumford's familiar indictment of the modern scientific world picture, which undervalues the emotional or subjective life, with one important difference. In The Condition of Man Mumford turns this argument into his most sharply effective attack on the modern notion of reason as the sole guide to correct conduct, and relates the rise of fascism to this Cartesian suppression of imagination and emotion."(417)

Hij had op zich niets tegen wetenschap natuurlijk, maar vond wel dat de wetenschappelijke wereld een wereld zonder moraal geworden was en in haar reductionisme allerlei andere ervaringen buitensloot die voor mensen belangrijk zijn. Zijn critici wezen die nieuwe benadering af. En daarbij bleek Mumford niet erg goed tegen kritiek te kunnen.

"Simonson and others close to Mumford, like Jo Strongin, saw - and were concerned about - what he himself only partially recognized - that over the past decade he had become a different man, a different writer, with a far more somber view of the human condition and with less tolerance for those who didn't share his outlook."(422)

Wat niet wegneemt dat hij opvattingen naar voren bracht die interessant zijn. Zoals die ten aanzien van de atoombom op Hiroshima en later in de actiebewegingen voor nucleaire ontwapening en tegen het gebruik van kernenergie. Hij nam ook stelling tegen het McCarthyisme van de 1950-er jaren in de VS. Tegelijkertijd komen in nieuwe boeken als The Conduct of Life en The Transformation of Manweer sterk moralistische betogen te staan die de irrationele dimensie van de religie binnenhalen.

"The power that the bomb places in the hands of human beings "is too absolute to be entrusted to them; and the very fact that we used the bomb is proof," he wrote in his notes, "that we were neither intelligent enough nor morally sound enough to be in charge of this weapon." In defending his decision to use the new bomb, President Harry S Truman claimed that it would shorten the war. "Apparently he did not stop to consider that it might also shorten the existence of the human race.""(431)

[Wat betreft die religie. Mumford wil graag meer moraal en meer aandacht voor andere ervaringen. Ik begrijp zijn kritiek op een reductionistische wetenschap goed, maar dat betekent nog niet dat we de religie nodig hebben voor die morele en andere dimensies. ]

Zijjn kritiek op de stedenbouwkundige en architect Robert Moses is dan weer wel heel terecht. In de 1960-er jaren begint hij aan een nieuw boek over technologie en cultuur.

The Myth of the Machine

"When he finished Technics and Civilization in the mid-1930s he realized that he had sidestepped an immensely important question. He had described the modern age's overevaluation of technology, but he had not sought to locate the origins of this 'myth of the machine', the widely held view that technological progress and the expansion of power in its various forms - military, financial, and political - were the chief goals of the human endeavour."(509)

Hij had al eerder laten zien dat die locatie gelegen was in de centralisatie van macht en het streven naar controle over mens en natuur. Nu legde hij de nadruk op het belang van de taal en het ritueel (in tegenstelling tot werktuigen en techniek) voor de ontwikkeling van de mensheid. Die maakten het ook mogelijk om de richting waarin techniek zich ontwikkelde te veranderen (anders dan Ellul naar voren had gebracht). Het eerste deel van The myth of the machine verscheen in 1967, het tweede in 1970. Tussendoor schreef hij ook nog een protest tegen de Vietnamoorlog.

"Mumford was one of the first American intellectuals to speak out publicly against the war [de Vietnamoorlog - GdG], at a time when only three United States senators were opposing the President. Although he would later write disapprovingly of the street violence of young radicals, his thundering attacks on Johnson's Vietnam policy express the aroused moral outrage that fueled those demonstrations of defiance."(513)

"Mumford participated in several peaceful street marches against the war in Cambridge, but he vigorously opposed the forceful tactics of campus radicals against the university."(517)

"What were the remoralized young supposed to do when they reached the new state of consciousness and self-discipline Mumford called for? What form should their protest take? On issues of tactics and strategy Mumford continued to be infuriatingly vague, probably because he himself did not know the answers to these questions."(518)

[Dat is wel typisch voor Mumford, zeker in zijn latere leven: wanneer je protesteert doe het dan netjes, rationeel en verbaal. Het is natuurlijk geweldig dat hij openlijk stelling neemt tegen wat hij moreel verwerpelijk vindt en uiteraard is er ook veel te zeggen voor geweldloos verzet, maar wat zou meer effect gehad hebben: de schriftelijke protesten van intellectuelen en de vreedzame mars van Martin Luther King of de demonstraties door studenten en het grootschalige en soms gewelddadige verzet tegen de autoriteiten? Er is iets naïefs aan de opvatting dat je een gewelddadige en repressieve dictator van gedachten kunt doen veranderen door geweldloos verzet en vreedzame kritiek.]

"The Myth of the Machine: Technics and Human Development arose from Mumford's sobered view of the age in which he had lived. It is a search for an answer to what he considered the central question of the century: Why had technological progress brought with it such catastropic ruin? This is the same question Oswald Spengler had raised in The Decline of the West, a title that exactly describes Mumford's reading of recent history. Mumford was a witness to what he thought were the worst twenty years of humankind's history, the age of Hitler and Hiroshima, and he wanted an explanation of what had gone wrong. Was the modern association of power and productivity with mass violence and destructinveness mere coincidental?
In this book Mumfrod puts the problem of the misuse of technology into the widest possible historical context: the modern 'religion' of technology, he argues, is based upon a gross misconception of human origins and human nature. Furthermore, our modern doctrine of progress, with its association of technological advance with human advance, is merely a "scientifically dressed up justification" for practices the ruling classes had used since the time of the pharaohs to gain and hold power. "(520-521)

"When Mumford submitted volume one of the Myth of the Machine for publication he had already written a good part of what would become The Pentagon of Power, his most passionate and polemical work. It is an all-out assault on perverted science and the technological state, an indictment so massively unrelenting, however, that it draws attention away from Mumford's governing purpose: to prove that human nature is biased toward autonomy and against submission to technology in any of its forms."(524)

"In The Myth of the Machine Mumford attempts to undercut the idea of homo faber, of man as primarily a toolmaking creature, a myth, he contends, that is behind the modern age's total commitment to technology. In overweighting the role of tools and weapons in early human culture, social theorists from Thomas Carlyle to Karl Marx to Thorstein Veblen had distorted the actual course of evolution and played directly into the hands of the apologists of the modern megamachine."(525)

"So while the making of fire and weapons contributed immensely to human development, even more important, from Mumford's perspective. was the slow evolution of the social heritage expressed in ritual, religion, social organization, art, and above all, language."(527)

Hij ziet in die jaren veel in what Carl Gustav Jung schreef. Hij begint tegelijkertijd last te krijgen van het besef dat alles wat hij schreef weinig gedaan had om de ontwikkelingen 'in de verkeerde richting' tegen te houden. Die 'verkeerde richting' omvatte nogal wat: van mannen met lang haar, drugs, popart, popmuziek, tot aan pornografie, marxisme, etc. etc.

[Het maakt een erg behoudende indruk allemaal. Alsof Mumford niets, maar dan ook niets kon plaatsen van wat er in zijn tijd gebeurde. En zo ervaarde hij het ook: dat hij in een cultuur leefde die volledig afweek van de waarden en idealen die hij er zelf op na hield. Ook opvallend is dat hij nu helemaal geen kritiek meer verdraagt op zijn werk.]

"It is a measure of his concern about his 'invisibility' that he finally decided to do something about it. He had more important things to say than 'charlatan[s]' like Buckminster Fuller and Marshall McLuhan, and he would start to say them "in the limelight". He would go public and see how well he fared."(532)

"Here [in het boek The Myth of the Machine: The Pentagon of Power - GdG] Mumford summarizes everything he has written about man's relation to science and technology, providing impressive buttressing for his ideas from the intellectual history of science. It is true that he does not attack science itself, his heroes being scientists such as Charles Darwin, Claude Bernard, Clerk Maxwell, Lawrence J. Henderson, Walter Cannon, Niels Bohr, and Michael Polanyi. Nonetheless, this is one of the most devastating attacks on the fundamentental methods and operations of physical science in the English language. Its sprit and temper is that of Rabelais's famous remark: "science without conscience is the ruin of the soul"."(536)

"What was needed, Mumford believed, was an ethical doctrine of science that recognized science's own subjectivity."(538)

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