The cure for capitalism's failing would require that a government would have to rise above the interests of one class alone.
It is one of the dangerous self-deceptions of our society to pretend that mechanisms of control do not really exist, and to maintain, without qualification, that we are an economically free people.
Nobody wanted this commercialization of life.
The rise of the welfare state, on the one hand, and of the military bureaucracy, on the other, are instances of the manner in which technology is enforcing a socialization of life.
he who enlists a man's mind wields a power even greater than the sword or the scepter
There was no simple riddance to the power of a dangerous political idea; no assassination possible to avert a disruptive change in technology; no natural death to be counted on to stop an economic change that ripped up ancestral estates or stirred up class discontent.
The total amount of electric power generated by India would not suffice to light up New York City.
If an economy in the doldrums could drift indefinitely, the price of government inaction might be graver by far than the consequences of bold unorthodoxy.
The secret to economic growth lay in the fact that that each generation attacked Nature not only with its own energies and resources, but with the heritage of equipment accumulated by its forebears.
In the end the question is: Who is to be master, man or his machines? As long as the control over technology rests primarily on economic calculation, the victor is not likely to be man.
But the process of social change was not merely a matter of new inventions pressing on old institutions: it was a matter of new classes displacing old ones.
History, as it comes into our daily lives, is charged with surprise and shock.
Marx did not call for an opposition to the forces of history. On the contrary he accepted all of them, the drive of technology, the revolutionizing effects of democratic striving, even the vagaries of capitalism, as being indeed the carriers of a brighter future.
When we estrange ourselves from history we do not enlarge, we diminish ourselves, even as individuals. We subtract from our lives one meaning which they do in fact possess, whether we recognize it or not. We cannot help living in history. We can only fail to be aware of it.
To one American family out of four, the idea of capitalism as a benign system of comfort, dignity, and personal advance is only a myth, or worse, a bitter mockery.