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


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