Guardini, Romano. Letters from Lake Como: Explorations in Technology and the Human race
Pages 13 and 16
In the sailing ship we had a natural existence, for all the presence of mind and spirit in the situation. We had our being in a natural culture. In the modern steamer, however, we are in an artificial situation; measured by the vital elastic human limits, nature has been decisively eliminated. Once there was an order, a living space, which made possible a human existence in a specific sense. On the steamer that is no longer present. We can no longer be seafarers in the first and special sense in which seafaring is a basic form of human existence filled with its own content. The crew members of a liner are not essentially different from employees on the assembly line of a factory....
In all manual work we find the primal phenomenon of culture that is human but close to nature. Now compare the smithy with our factories and their electric machines. And compare carpentry and bricklaying with concrete or prefabricated housing. Compare the work of the cabinetmaker or wheelwright with the division of labor at a Ford factory, which breaks down the products into small parts that are produced in vast numbers daily.
In the former we have culture, a work of mind and spirit, yet still close to nature. In it we are creative and stand breast to breast with the things and forces of nature. Here we are human in the deepest sense of the term. But this human culture has almost disappeared. We no longer have wheeled vehicles pulled by animals, with all the vitality that is in them and around them, but automobiles.