George Walford: Do It Your Damn Self

Descriptions of the future we are to expect from rapid development of technology – computers, silicon chins and so forth – tend to present it as a time in which everything will be done for us. The great problem is expected to be the large numbers of people with nothing to do.

But have you bought a lawn-mower recently? Or a corner cupboard? Or a bookcase? If so, what you probably got was not an object ready for use but a box of mysterious objects with instructions for assembling them. And a current advertisement offers shoes which you sew together yourself.

If this trend continues we shall need all the leisure gained from the silicon chip in order to assemble its products after we bought them.

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PROVOCATION: The fear of unemployment arises from the need to express economic individualism and political collectivism.

from Ideological Commentary 4, January 1980.