Inefficient speed

Just take collectivism in this context: the 20th century was the century of collectivist ideologies but also of mass culture and large-scale production. The assembly line principle of large factories is the economic equivalent of the gigantic concrete constructions inspired by Le Corbusier, built in the same short-sighted manner as was so much else in the 20th century: in order to be quickly and easily replaced; without any perspective of history or the future; and based on a de-individualised, instrumental view of humans – people as cogs in a giant social machine.

The 20th century was the century that focused on the now and fetishised the new-fangled, the era when Westerners didn’t think they had anything to learn from alien cultures of the past. This was the century when we sought a sense of the contemporary rather than timelessness, replaceability rather than durability, change rather than stability, challenge rather than security. And at the heart of this cul...

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