在任何技術先進的社會個人的命運必須仰賴那些他個人不能在很大程度影響的決定。一個技術先進的社會不能被拆解成小的、自治的社群,因為生產仰賴數量極大的人和機器的合作。如此的社會必須高度有條理且必須做出影響極大量人的決定。當一個決定影響例如一百萬人好了,則每一個被影響的個體平均來說,只能貢獻這個決定百萬分之一的占比。通常實際的情形是這些決定由高官或企業高層,或技術專家所做,但即使大眾投票決定,投票的人數通常太多了以至於沒有一個個體是重要的。[17] 因此大部分的個體無法可觀地影響攸關他們生活的重大決定。在一個技術先進的社會沒有什麼想得到的方法可以對此進行補救。這個體系嘗試藉由宣傳「解決」這個問題,以宣傳讓人們想要那些為他們做的決定,但即使這個「解方」在讓人們感到比較好的方面徹底地成功,仍是有辱人格的。

[17] 這個體系的辯護者喜歡引用一些由一票或兩票決定選舉的案例,但那些案例很少見。


In any technologically advanced society the individual’s fate MUST depend on decisions that he personally cannot influence to any great extent. A technological society cannot be broken down into small, autonomous communities, because production depends on the cooperation of very large numbers of people and machines. Such a society MUST be highly organized and decisions HAVE TO be made that affect very large numbers of people. When a decision affects, say, a million people, then each of the affected individuals has, on the average, only a one-millionth share in making the decision. What usually happens in practice is that decisions are made by public officials or corporation executives, or by technical specialists, but even when the public votes on a decision the number of voters ordinarily is too large for the vote of any one individual to be significant. [17] Thus most individuals are unable to influence measurably the major decisions that affect their lives. There is no conceivable way to remedy this in a technologically advanced society. The system tries to “solve” this problem by using propaganda to make people WANT the decisions that have been made for them, but even if this “solution” were completely successful in making people feel better, it would be demeaning.

[17] Apologists for the system are fond of citing cases in which elections have been decided by one or two votes, but such cases are rare.

覺得我可以幫作者加註參考文獻,可參見 Murray B. Levin 所著 The Alienated Voter: Politics in Boston。這本書和這一段展現的正是現代社會體系如何讓人異化的結果。


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