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Full text of "The Note Books Of Samuel Butler"

46           The Germs of Srewhon

the other for innumerable benefits, and, until the reproduc-
tive organs of the machines have been developed in a manner
which we are hardly yet able to conceive, they are entirety
dependent upon man for even the continuance of their
species. It is true that these organs may be ultimately
developed, inasmuch as man's interest lies in that direction ;
there is nothing which our infatuated race would desire more
than to see a fertile union between two steam engines; it is
true that machinery is even at this present time employed in
begetting machinery, in becoming the parent of machines
often after its own kind, but the days of flirtation, courtship
and matrimony appear to be very remote and indeed can
hardly be realised by our feeble and imperfect imagination.

Day by day, however, the machines are gaining ground
upon us; day by day we are becoming more subservient to
them; more men are daily bound down as slaves to tend
them, more men are daily devoting the energies of their
whole lives to the development of mechanical life. The
upshot is simply a question of time, but that the time will
come when the machines will hold the real supremacy over
the world and its inhabitants is what no person of a truly
philosophic mind can for a moment question.

Our opinion is that war to the death should be instantly
proclaimed against them. Every machine of every sort
should be destroyed by the well-wisher of his species. Let
there be no exceptions made, no quarter shown; let us at
once go back to the primeval condition of the race. If it be
urged that this is impossible under the present condition of
human affairs, this at once proves that the mischief is already
done, that our servitude has commenced in good earnest,
that we have raised a race of beings whom it is beyond our
power to destroy and that we are not only enslaved but are
absolutely acquiescent in our bondage.

For "the present we shall leave this subject which we
present gratis to the members of the Philosophical Society.
Should they consent to avail themselves of the vast field
which we have pointed out, we shall endeavour to labour in
it ourselves at some future and indefinite period.

I am, Sir, &c.,