ESSAYS

 

The essays are designed to offer a basis for discussion of topical issues arising out of the Lockdown measures designed to control the Corvid-19 pandemic. Each essay relates to E.M. Forster's The Machine Stops and Understanding the Financial System by Frances Hutchinson (also available for purchase). An extensive Bibliography is also available.

(Note that page number references in all the EASY ESSAYS refer to The Machine Stops as here provided electronically)

 

EASY ESSAYS

Faith in Technology

Nobody knows how the Machine was made or who made it. It is just there to supply the everyday needs of a human race cut off from nature ... Read more ...

 

Mass Production Man

Are there no barbed words, poison-tipped,

Spat out with dynamite, to penetrate

Where the mind lurks within the work-machine? ... Read more ...

 

The Elephant

In The Machine Stops E.M. Forster foretells the demise of humanity if economic and technological "progress" is blindly pursued by people who are just doing the job they are paid to do. Then, as now, the elephant in the room is the world-wide financial system. ... Read more ...

 

Economics 

As Kuno relates his quest to reach the surface of the earth without permission from the Machine, he relates that he was not frightened physically. "I feared something far more intangible - doing something that was not contemplated by the Machine". ... Read more ...

 

Unethical Consumerism

No work is done in The Machine Stops. Like a gigantic mother-figure, the Machine provides for the needs of humanity at the touch of a button.(p4). A moment's reflection ... Read more ...

 

Cashlessness

As the Machine starts to crumble we are told that humanity had sunk into decadence "quietly and complacently", as "progress had come to mean the progress of the Machine". Nobody, not even the Central Committee, had any idea ... Read more ...

 

HARDER ESSAYS

The Economics of Love Story

The Economics of Love was to be a full-length book on the world economy in the 21st century. The chapters on 'matriarchy' and 'patriarchy' were already written when I came across Thomas Berry's ... Read more ...

 

Understanding Why the Machine IS Stopping

The good thing about Lockdown is that it brought home to many of us a fundamental fact of social life. Put simply, most of us haven't a clue what makes the social order tick. We cannot say with any certainty who decides policy, on what basis and ... Read more ...