Einstein understood it best.
He understood the central conflict of our age, the conflict of man and machine.
He saw the failing behind the wonders of a new age, that we were not so much making something new, as losing something old.
“Our Technology grows faster than our humanity” he wrote on that windswept day.
And the whole of the last century, the 20th century, was an affirmation of that statement. A war of man and machine. As industrialization to cut costs and maximize profits, strove to make humans more machine like and machines more human. The capacity of humans shrank, as the limits of machines grew.
By the end of the 20th century Man was the mindless drone performing repetitive tasks, while machines were the wunderkinds and geniuses of a new age.
Einstein understood that the 20th century had become an age of tradeoffs. We stopped growing, evolving and handed it to machines to do for us.
That we had taken the magic that was within us, this glory of Shamans and Wiccas and spirits, and had traded, externalized it, taken it away from the creatures of the wet and the warm, and imbued it into a cold, stark, controllable entity of tomorrow.
The conflict of Man and Machine, the theme of the 20th century, was the displacement of wonder, the restructuring of magic.
In the 20th century we gave up trying to be heroes and holy men and decided to be predictable and comfortable.
We redefined humanity as something disposable and common.
The 20th century was ultimately a move to diminish the very rights of man. The move away from the concept of man, to other manageable concepts like worker, drone, statistic, to concepts devoid of ‘I’.
The whole push of the 20th century toward obedient machines with the adaptability of men, and adaptable men with the obedience of machines.
And if the 20th century set the stage for such a bleak and dystopian present, then the 21st century has clearly been set in motion to be the age wherein we must war over the rights of Man, and either nobly win, or meanly lose…. our Freedom.