Before dying, Linds Redding wrote a now-viral blog post, ‘A short lesson in perspective,’ which makes a whole lot of sense, apart from the macro implications he touches on. It seems people could not help but demonize industrialization.
What I have witnessed happening in the last twenty years is the aesthetic equivalent of the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century. The wholesale industrialization and mechanistation of the creative process. Our ad agencies, design groups, film and music studios have gone from being cottage industries and guilds of craftsmen and women, essentially unchanged from the middle-ages, to dark sattanic mills of mass production. Ideas themselves have become just another disposable commodity to be supplied to order by the lowest bidder. As soon as they figure out a way of outsourcing thinking to China they won’t think twice. Believe me.
The industrial revolution in itself did not result in workers’ alienation or dehumanization. That would be like saying that an economy that is capable of feeding and sustaining more people (indicating that resources are traded with the dreaded “lowest bidder”), is in itself bad for the people.
Actually, alienation, stress, and dehumanization are part of an adjustment process as human networks expand from the more familiar to the more abstract, an uncertain process that is exacerbated by policies that most have yet to recognize the flaws of, e.g. minimum wage legislation, which results in overwork, and, ironically, less jobs.
This may seem besides the point the dying Redding wanted to make, but I would like it said anyway.