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Hart, H.H. (1953). The Identification with the Machine. Am. Imago, 10(2):95-111.

(1953). American Imago, 10(2):95-111

The Identification with the Machine

Henry Harper Hart, M.D.

Ever since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution the machine has been hailed by some as the savior, and by others, the destroyer of mankind. Men like E. M. Forster, Austin Freeman, Oswald Spangler, J. B. S. Haldane, Philip Gibbs and numerous others see man releasing a Frankenstein who may any minute hurl him into extinction. On the other hand, an equal number like Albert Parson Sachs, Gerald Stanley Lee, Will Durant, Charles A. Beard and all our Modern Captains of Industry see the machine as the humane liberator of mankind. Which is the truth?

Whether we like it or not the machine marches on. Invention excites invention and the multiplication of devices has rendered modern life inseparable from machinery. What changes in man is all this producing? They may be so insidious as to be almost imperceptible. Some of these changes it behooves us to examine—what sort of men are emerging from its all embracing influence? If something in man did not respond to the machine it could not have come to exercise this control over us.

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