Ouroboros or the Mechanical Extension of Mankind

Garet Garrett

“One story of us is continuous. It is the story of our struggle to recapture the Garden of Eden, meaning by that a state of existence free from the doom of toil.”

Garrett explores the consequences of advancing technology and industrial capacity in this short but intriguing work. The author follows human progress through the centuries and the impacts of technological development on humanity’s way of life.

Ouroboros by Garet Garrett
Meet the Author
Garet Garrett

Garet Garrett (1878–1954) was an American journalist and author who was noted for his critiques of the New Deal and US involvement in the Second World War.

Mises Daily Garet Garrett
There are many aspects of government. The one least considered is what may be called the biological aspect, in which government is like an organism with such an instinct for growth and self-expression that if let alone it is bound to destroy human freedom — not that it might wish to do so but that it could not in nature do less. No government ever wants less government — that is, less of itself. No government ever surrenders power, even its emergency powers — not really.
Mises Daily Garet Garrett
The work cumbersomely entitled, The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, now commonly abbreviated as “The General Theory,” was published in 1936. Probably no other book has ever produced in so little time a comparable effect, writes Garet Garrett. It has tinctured, modified, and conditioned economic thinking in the whole world. Upon it has been founded a new economic church, completely furnished with all the properties proper to a church, such as a revelation of its own, a rigid doctrine, a symbolic language, a propaganda, a priestcraft, and a demonology. The revelation, although brilliantly written, was nevertheless obscure and hard to read, but where one might have expected this fact to hinder the spread of the doctrine, it had a contrary result and served the ends of publicity by giving rise to schools of exegesis and to controversies that were interminable because nothing could be settled. There was no existing state of society in which the theory could be either proved or disproved by demonstration — nor is there one yet.
Mises Daily Garet Garrett
One great discovers another: Garet Garrett reviews two books by Ludwig von Mises in this newly discovered essay from 1945. Garrett writes: Ludwig von Mises writes tragedy in the language of political economy. There is in man the very principle of frustration. Once, and perhaps for the first time, he did find the right way. Beginning with the optimistic social philosophy of 18th-century liberalism he discovered the solutions of the free market, free competition, free private enterprise — that is to say, capitalism — and how at the same time to put government in its place. After that he had only to go in a straight line toward a world of peace and unlimited plenty. For a while he did go in a straight line and there was the 19th century, in which political freedom and material well-being advanced together, inseparably and wonderfully. But the government, which he had put in its place, began to overtake him, offering to do him good and to help him on his way.
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E.P. Dutton and Company, New York, 1926