Some of the appeal of capitalism that has really become impossible for many people to resist is due to technology’s efficiency and the possibilities it apparently proffers. But anyone politically minded should reconsider that. Being an ethical consumer is not enough, not being an ethical producer who has successfully adapted to the current technopoly, the present world evermore dependent on technology. For technology is quite contrary to a lot of the ends that people seek. At the end of the day, it will not help us become stewards of the environment or fight capitalists.
Here is Lasch to tell it:
Conservation runs counter to our entire system of large-scale capitalist enterprise. It demands small-scale production, political decentralization, and an abandonment of our consumer culture. It demands a change in the way we live, not a new technology, even a “revolutionary” technology.
Everything we know about technological “progress” indicates, on the contrary, that it promotes inequality and political centralization. It commends itself to the masters of American industry for that very reason. Whenever we hear that some new technology is “inevitable” we should consult the historical record, which shows that technical innovations usually appeal to industrialists not because they are inevitable or even because they make for greater productive efficiency, but because they consolidate the industrialist’s power over the work force.