Tragedy of materialistic culture

Machine has won over man:
It needed a slave to take away its sweet,
To comfort its insides with pure oil,
To feed it coal and take away its excrements,
And then it started asking for itself,
The swarming bundle of muscles and of wills
Brought up in hungry discipline
And greedy rude who cheapened his spirit
For joys of mediocrity and comforts.
Machine has taught man to think appropriately
And logically discuss the findings.
It visually proved to him
That there is no spirit, only substance,
That man is nothing but a machine himself,
That the starry cosmos is merely a mechanism
To manufacture time, that thought
Is just a simple product of the brain digestion,
That mere sustenance defines the spirit,
That genius is a degeneration,
That culture means an increase in the number
Of the consumer needs,
That the ideal is general well-being
And stomach satisfaction,
That there is One Universal Worldly Stomach
And there is no other Gods beside it….
The rotary press machines spawn
Day and night the printed pages.
Newspapers manufacture truth,
One truth for each hour of the day,
But not a single line is printed of a human –
The very ancient, hidden fire..

by Maximilian Voloshin, 1922

translated by Natasha Levitan


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