Writing in the early days of the consumerist age, Calvino describes the daily switch-flick as those producing goods by day go out to consume or acquire by night, readily reversing their roles. 

At six in the evening the city fell into the hands of the consumers. All during the day the big occupation of the productive public was to produce: they produced consumer goods.  At a certain hour, as if a switch had been thrown, they stopped production and, away!, they were all off, to consume.

Sounds like a perfect economic formula, but unfortunately, we’re now facing one or two side effects.

Source: Italo Calvino, Marcovaldo, trans. by William Weaver (London: Picador, 1985), p. 84

Photo credit: Social History Archive at unsplash


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