"A machine has value only as
it produces more than it consumes --
so check your value to the community. "
Martin H. Fischer
(1879-1962) German-born American physician and author
As quoted in Quote Unquote (A Handbook of Quotations) (2005) by M. P. Singh, p. 86
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Reader comments about this quote:
... as it produces ... what ? Some production is critical but consumes little in the way of energy. As to people-production- and-consumption, let me think: VOTING consumes little energy but may produce much.
The generality is fun to use as a base for comparison purposes, but needs nearly-microscopic examination when applied to life situations ( which may be the point, Bob ! )
 -- Bob, Charlotte, VT     
    Personally, I think this is great, and should be at the forefront of my mind as I go through life. "What am I producing? What am I putting in the world? What is the impact?"

    Certainly as a family man, I must produce more than the family can consume if we are to prosper. The ability to save is all that separates the lower class from the middle class. Living hand to mouth is the life of a slave.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    Not considering the nobility of man or the incalculable worth of a soul, the sentiment is an adequate causation practicality from a socialist's herd mentality. Can an abstract duty to your fellow man - moral imperative be accurately compared to the calculated output of a machine. Machines are soulless apparatuses designed to perform a specific function; shall man be reduced to such a designation?
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    @Mike, 'As you sow, so shall you reap.' To give is also to produce, just as to take is to consume. The spiritual law is the same as the physical law. Of course the soul produces! Love or hate, give or take -- these apply to the very root of Nature and our very being.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    And in relation to a community that absolutely depends on production, distribution, and trade, we are, like it or not, performing the functions of a machine. Our bodies are also machines -- and whether soulful or soulless, the body must be given energy and physical material to grow and survive. The collective needs and impact of many bodies can only live in accordance with the energy and materials produced by the community and the natural fruits of the territory. A machine that uses more energy than it can translate into power is a throw-away. Humans that do the same thing risk the same fate. This is by no means an argument for compelled compliance, it is in fact a call to responsibility.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    Archer, well said, accurate and so noted.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Mike, I do heartily agree with your sentiments of the noble sovereign being reduced to a 'machine' -- my focus was on the last phrase 'check your value to the community.' And certainly the context can be twisted to justify forced labor camps and military conscription. While our 'meat' and labor have a market value, the human essence, call it the soul, certainly deserves greater respect than that of chattel property.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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