The Present Human Condition

Man's character has been molded by the demands of the world he has built with his own hands. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the social character of the middle class showed strong exploitative and hoarding traits. This character was determined by the desire to exploit others and to save one's own earnings to make further profit from them. In the twentieth century, man's character orientation shows considerable passivity and an identification with the values of the market. Contemporary man is certainly passive in most of his leisure time. He is the eternal consumer; he "takes in" drink, food, cigarettes, lectures, sights, books, movies; all are consumed, swallowed. The world is one great object for his appetite: a big bottle, a big apple, a big breast. Man has become the suckler, the eternally expectant and the eternally disappointed.

Holt, Reinhart, and Winston (1955) pg 95-104