The phrase planned obsolescence gained currency in the early seventies, concurrent with environmental concerns and the establishment of "Earth Day". Today however, it is increasingly difficult to avoid the conclusion that much more was implied than we thought. The "throw away" culture that was a concern then has expanded exponentially until today it includes throw away people, also known as the multi colored working class.
Consider the explosion of advertisements touting the value of daily home delivered meal packages, by use of, if not now, we are assured, soon, a driverless vehicle. See where I am going? Not only do we not need a driver to deliver, but what he/she/it would be delivering would be substitute food, food which would be machine made, thus probably void of much in the way of nutrients, to a home where people are most happily incompetent when it comes to preparing food.
The evident pride connected with all of this gives especial punch to the thought that human uselessness appears to be our modern goal.
Wendell Berry's useful little essay written more than fifty years ago gains currency as we go. The title is a question: "What are People for?" Indeed!