These are monuments to failure. With each technological revolution, we have been offered a promise of a utopia in which all people are alleviated of the burdens of labor and the threat of disease. But in the era of late capitalism, it has become obvious that the majority of military, industrial and communications advances greatly benfit those who control those technologies, often at the cost of the health and economic well-being of the underprivileged. In a sense we have brought much of this on ourselves. We are a blindly pro-technology society, assuming that any techincal foul-up can be solved by more research or a better model; we believe that there is no bad technology as long as it is used properly and by the right people. We turn a blind eye to the information, surveillance and weapons technologies that make corporate domination and massive warfare possible, because they can also help us edit our papers, chat with our friends and take pretty pictures. Such a mentality is reinforced by the companies that develop these technologies, since they gain from their consumption. When we ask those in power for accountability, we must also recognize our own role in this system. While puppets of our world leaders burn in protest, these monuments stand as permanent effigy to our collective refusal to stop and think.
"The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting"
--Milan Kundera, from The Book of Laughter and Forgetting