it strikes me more and more that America’s reputation for materialism is unfounded—that is, if a materialist is a person who thoroughly enjoys the physical world and loves material things. In this sense, we are superb materialists when it comes to the construction of jet aircraft, but when we decorate the inside of these magnificent monsters for the comfort of passengers it is nothing but frippery. High-heeled, narrow-hipped, doll-type girls serving imitation, warmed-over meals. For our pleasures are not material pleasures but symbols of pleasure—attractively packaged but inferior in content. The explanation is simple: most of our products are being made by people who do not enjoy making them, whether as owners or workers. Their aim in the enterprise is not the product but money, and therefore every trick is used to cut the cost of production and hoodwink the buyer, by coloring and packaging chicanery, into the belief that the product is well and truly made. The only exceptions are those products which simply must be excellent for reasons of safety or high cost of purchase—aircraft, computers, space-rockets, scientific instruments, and so forth.

« Our pleasures are not material pleasures but symbols of pleasure »

A quote saved on Dec. 30, 2015.


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