Saturday, August 13, 2011

Marshall McLuhan on C20th Mega-Machines

In “Last Look at the Tube” McLuhan notes that “for discarnate man the only political regime that is reasonably in touch with him is totalitarian – the state becomes religion.” In brief, he argues that when loyalty to natural law declines, the supernatural becomes the last remaining anchor. The supernatural, he adds, can and (in all probability) will take the form of the megamachines of state that Lewis Mumford talks about as existing in Mesopotamia and Egypt some 5000 years ago, or like those we can see in North American, e.g. our vast security systems and/or the multi-trillion dollar advertising industry dedicated to the manipulation of the public psyche.

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