The final goal of human effort is man's self-transforma tion.
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Age: 94 †
Born: October 19
Died: January 26
Historian Of Technology
More quotes by Lewis Mumford
In war, the army is not merely a pure consumer, but a negative producer.
Neither democracy nor effective representation is possible until each participant in the group...devotes a measurable part of his life to furthering its existence.
The vast material displacements the machine has made in our physical environment are perhaps in the long run less important than its spiritual contributions to our culture.
By his very success in inventing labor-saving devices, modern man has manufactured an abyss of boredom that only the privileged classes in earlier civilizations have ever fathomed.
"I would die happy if I knew that on my tombstone could be written these words, ""This man was an absolute fool. None of the disastrous things that he reluctantly predicted ever came to pass!"""
The earth is the Lord's fullness thereof: this is no longer a hollow dictum of religion, but a directive for economic action toward human brotherhood.
He who touches the soil of Manhattan and the pavement of New York, touches, whenever he knows or not, Walt Whitman.
Sport in the sense of a mass-spectacle, with death to add to the underlying excitement, comes into existence when a population has been drilled and regimented and depressed to such an extent that it needs at least a vicarious participation in difficult feats of strength or skill or heroism in order to sustain its waning life-sense.
Don't take the will for the deed get the deed.
Growth and self-transformation cannot be delegated.
Happiness, I think, lies on the surface... when one plunges under the surface all the buoyant things disappear, and the farther down one gets the more cold and dark it seems: and the more oppressive space feels.
When art seems to be empty of meaning, as no doubt some of the abstract painting of our own day actually does seem, what the painting says, indeed what the artist is shrieking at the top of his voice, is that life has become empty of all rational content and coherence, and that, in times like these, is far from a meaningless statement.
In vulgar usage, progress has come to mean limitless movement in space and time, accompanied, necessarily, by an equally limitless command of energy: culminating in limitless destruction.
Today, the notion of progress in a single line without goal or limit seems perhaps the most parochial notion of a very parochial century.
The timelessness of art is its capacity to represent the transformation of endless becoming into being.
This metropolitan world, then, is a world where flesh and blood is less real than paper and ink and celluloid.
Utopias rest on the fallacy that perfection is a legitimate goal of human existence.
Life is the only art that we are required to practice without preparation, and without being allowed the preliminary trials, the failures and botches, that are essential for the training...
The chief enemy of peace is the spirit of unreason itself: an inability to conceive alternatives, an unwillingness to reconsider old prejudices, to part with ideological obsessions, to entertain new ideas or to improve new plans.
The very people who shudder over the cruelty of the hunter are apt to forget that slaughter, in the grimmest sense of the word, is a process they entrust daily to the butcher and that unlike the game of the forests, even the dumbest creatures of the slaughterhouse know what is in store for them.