Mechanized Vitality

In a mechanized civilization, every standstill of technology produces a feeling of intolerable emptiness in the technically organized peoples, a void in their lives which they cannot endure and from which they try to escape by intensified motion. The individual may bemoan the inexorable organization of time to which his day is subjected, he may curse the mechanical job to which he is tied, but at the same time he cannot be without his mechanical organization; he adheres to its pattern even in his amusements. Motion has a narcotic attraction for him in intoxicating power, particularly where the going is fast, where the speed is record-breaking. He needs this stimulant as an addict needs his drug to feel alive. He must always feel that something is going on, that he is participating in some action. Hence, his insatiable thirst for news, a thirst that no rotary press can quench. His concept of life is dynamic. He puts the highest value on life’s vitality, but this very evaluation betrays the growing hunger for life that torments the masses. Modern life is dominated by the consuming force of that hunger.

Friedrich Georg Jünger [The Failure of Technology, pg. 158]

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