The following is not a brief post; however , in a concise, relatively few words it covers volumes.
The author is Troy Cauley, born in Comanche, Texas and a contributor to Who Owns America, sequel to I’ll take My Stand both written in the 1930s. This partial essay of Cauley’s appeared in So Good a Cause in 1993.
"...Technological progress in the past half century has been outstanding in the field of transportation. Let’s illustrate it. When I was a small boy in central Texas we lived about nine miles from the county seat, a town of three or four thousand people. In the fall we took a bale of cotton to town in a wagon. With a load of this sort, the team of horses walked about four miles an hour along the dirt road, thus taking over two hours for the trip.
A short time ago I flew from Texas to California in a 747 jet in about the same length of time. That looks like incredible progress. Let’s examine it more closely.
On the flight to California I saw virtually nothing of the country. From an elevation of 36,000 feet, all we saw were some weather-beaten clouds. Our seats were narrow and jammed together, but I visited with no one. Nobody showed any interest in me. I was in a crowd but it was a very lonely crowd.
On the trip to town with the bale of cotton we visited with fellow travelers along the way. We exchanged hearty greetings with neighbors as they sat on their porches. My brother and I had the whole back-end of the wagon in which to roll, tumble, and wrestle. We saw field-larks in the pastures and heard their cheerful calls. Bob-white quail thundered out of the bushes along the fencerows. Jackrabbits raced off for the cover of the post-oaks. The trip was a big success even before we got to town.
In a sense, of course, all of this is trivial. But in a broader sense, it is highly illustrative of a basic human fact: human nature is better adapted to a simple technology than to a highly complex one. People cannot live in a society of bread and circuses, especially when the bread has little or no nutritional value and the circuses consist mainly of endless hours of television depicting violence, vulgarity, and unclassified stupidity..."