Stanley Diamond on Telephones (1974)

Diamond on Phones 1974

“The imperious ring of the telephone…interrupts¬†all other activities. Its trivial, dissociated and obsessive use reflects both the alienating character of the society that prizes it so highly , and the transnational corporations that profit from it. Thus the telephone as ordinarily used becomes a sign, not of communication, but of the lack of communication, and of the consequent compelling desire to relate to others, but to relate at a distance–and in the mode of frustrated orality. The telephone¬†is not an abstractly or inherently “rational” instrument, but an integrated aspect of the repressive culture of monopoly capitalism. In our society, the machine becomes the mediator , and finally the locus of dissociated personal impulses.”¬†

Stanley Diamond
In Search of the Primitive: A Critique of Civilization (1974)
p. 44

In Search of the Primitive book cover