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Full text of "Authority and the individual"

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villages are often lovely, and may have cost much
labour, but are not intended to bring any monetary
reward. Peasant costumes, which now hardly exist
except for the delectation of tourists, were made by
their wearers' families, and had no price. The
temples of the Acropolis and the medieval cathedrals
were not built with any pecuniary motive, and were
not capable of being exchanged. Very gradually, a
money economy has replaced an economy in which
things were produced for the use of the producer,
and this change has caused commodities to be viewed
as useful rather than delightful.
Mass production has carried this process to new
lengths. Suppose you are a manufacturer of buttons:
however excellent your buttons may be, you do not
want more than a few for your own use. All the rest
you wish to exchange for food and shelter, a motor
car and your children's education, and so on. These
various things share nothing with the buttons except
money value. And it is not even the money value of
the buttons that is important to you; what is im-
portant is profit, i.e. the excess of their selling value
above the cost of production, which may be increased
by diminishing their intrinsic excellence. Indeed a
loss of intrinsic excellence usually results when mass
production is substituted for more primitive methods.
There are two consequences of modern organiza-
tion, in addition to those already mentioned, that
tend to diminish the producer's interest in the
product. One is the remoteness of the gain to be