The Fighting Temeraire—Our Idolatry Of Technology And Markets Over The Needs Of People
The painting above is called The Fighting Temeraire. It was painted in 1839 by J.W.W Turner.
The Fighting Temeraire is the sailing ship being pulled into port by the steam ship at the front of the picture.
The idea of the painting is that the age of sail is over. The steam ship is hauling in the Temeraire to be broken up at the ship yard.
While it turns out that this is a well-known painting, I’d not seen it until I recently read a book called Ship–The Epic Story Of Martime Adventure by Brian Lavery.
The story of a newer technology replacing an older technology is as old as the hills.
Progress has value.
At the same time, government has an obligation to help hard-working people who have been displaced with education relevant to finding a new job, access to health care, and unemployment benefits.
Machines are machines and people are people.
Ships go to scrap yards. People merit better.
In our modern idolatry of technology and markets, we cannot lose sight of the fact that the object of public policy is to improve the lives of human beings.
We cannot lose sight of the fact that we are here on Earth to help others.
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