Hello Cityliners, it´s been a long time since the last City Lines post, but holidays is not the best time for writing, although it is a great time for thinking. Formerly, we have written about the planned obsolescence and we have made some criticising about the usual means of production and sale. Now we want to go beyond that post with some more reflections about the implications of the planned obsolescence.
One of the things that could be surprising about planned obsolescence is the first time that it was mentioned. It is a concept that was formulated in 1932, when Bernard London wrote, “Ending the Depression through Planned Obsolescence”, in which he blamed the Great Depression on consumers who use “their old cars, their old radios and their old clothing much longer than statisticians had expected”.
So, we can assume that planned obsolescence was some kind of countercyclical measure expressed during the great depression to promote more employment. The lack of it was the real consequence of the 1929 crash, and some of these economic measures and a world war made possible to get a lot of people employed during the next years.
Nowadays, we are suffering some kind of similar situation as the one in the early 30s. But, in contrast, we have the problem that we are using a lot more amounts of natural resources than before, so it seems to be difficult to go beyond in this “planned obsolescence” tactic. Therefore, it also seems that we have to reduce our natural resources spending for a more cohesive world.
All this argumentation suggests that, on the one hand, the “planned obsolescence” tactic can promote more employment but, environmentally, the consequences are terrible. On the other hand, although resigning the “planned obsolescence” tactic will improve our environment, it will have really bad consequences upon employment and social cohesion.
Summarizing, we can see how we have not reached the equation that links environment and employment in a sustainable way. I expect that we will be able to find more technical solutions that approximate both variables, because otherwise we will have to choose between a social and an environmental production. I really expect that technical solutions…