An obvious predominance of images and aesthetic patterns exists today, not only in the current shaping of reality addressed so far, but in the current mediation and apprehension of reality as well. In earlier times, to count as being real, something had to be calculable; today it has to be aesthetically presentable. Aesthetics has become the new leading currency in the reality trade.
Natural rights theorists, from John Locke to Robert Nozick, have struggled with little success for centuries to determine the proportion between a person’s efforts and the reward he or she reaps. It seems implausible that, in designing a reward system to handle the new technological environment, we could suceed where they have failed.
For a man’s possibilities, plans, and feel-
ings must first be hedged in by prejudices, traditions, obstacles, and
barriers of all sorts, like a lunatic in his straitjacket, and only then can
whatever he is capable of doing have perhaps some value, substance,
and staying power.