||[Jul. 13th, 2008|09:30 pm]
"One of the primary results — and one of the primary needs — of industrialism is the separation of people and places and products from their histories. To the extent that we participate in the industrial economy, we do not know the histories of our families or of our habitats or of our meals. This is an economy, and in fact a culture, of the one-night stand. “I had a good time,” says the industrial lover, “but don’t ask me my last name.” Just so, the industrial eater says to the svelte industrial hog, “We’ll be together at breakfast. I don’t want to see you before then, and I won’t care to remember you afterwards.”
In this condition, we have many commodities, but little satisfaction, little sense of the sufficiency of anything. The scarcity of satisfaction makes of our many commodities, in fact, an infinite series of commodities, the newer ones invariably promising greater satisfaction then the older ones. And so we can say that the industrial economy’s most marketed commodity is satisfaction, which is repeatedly promised, bought, and paid for, but never delivered. On the other hand, people who have much satisfaction do not need many commodities.
The persistent want of satisfaction is directly and complexly related to the dissociation of ourselves and all our goods from, our and their, histories. If things do not last, are not made to last, they can have no histories, and we who use these things can have no memories. We buy new stuff on the promise of satisfaction because we have forgot the promised satisfaction for which we bought our old stuff."
—Wendell Berry, “The Whole Horse” in The Fatal Harvest Reader, (Island Press)