The Pentagon of Power

Any program sufficient to reverse the destructive success of technological affluence will demand not merely drastic restrictions; it will demand economic changes directed toward producing goods and services, modes of work and education and recreation, profoundly different from those offered by the power complex.

Reformers who would treat the campaign against environment and degradation solely in terms of improved technological facilities, like the reduction of gasoline exhaust in motor cars, see only a small park of the problem. Nothing less than a profound re-orientation of our vaunted technological “way of life” will save this planet from becoming a lifeless desert. And without such a wide-ranging preliminary alteration of personal desires, habits, and ideals, the necessary physical measures for mankind’s protection — to say nothing of its further development — cannot conceivably be carried out.

On this matter, one dare not become over-optimistic even though the first stir of a human awakening seems actually to be taking place. The unwillingness of millions of cigarette smokers to free themselves from their addiction to cigarettes despite the incontestable evidence of the probable consequences in lung cancer, gives a hint of the difficulties we shall face in redeeming the planet — and ourselves — for life. Our present addiction to private motor transportation alone may prove equally hard to break until every traffic artery is permanently clogged and every city is ruined.

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