Mumford  proposed a constellation of five activities has operated from the appearance of the first cities down to the present to give humanity its growing dominion over nature, and a few control of the many.  This “Megamachine,” as Mumford called it, is largely invisible and designed to be so by those who build and run it, since its working parts are human bodies driven by carefully inculcated belief systems. Such a machine is easiest to visualize as a pyramid, whose base  consists of mechanization, metallurgy, militarism and moneymaking (or finanance) and whose apex is mining.
Taken from page 19 of book by Gray Brechin “Imperial San Francisco”

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