World War III is a guerrilla information war with no division between military and civilian participation.

— Marshall McLuhan

The most killer Marshall McLuhan quotes to get the best of your day

There are no passengers on spaceship earth. We are all crew.


There are no passengers on spaceship earth. We are all crew.


Obsolescence never meant the end of anything, it's just the beginning.


Publication is a self-invasion of privacy.


Madison Avenue is a very powerful aggression against private consciousness.

A demand that you yield your private consciousness to public manipulation.


The computer is the most extraordinary of man's technological clothing;

it's an extension of our central nervous system. Beside it, the wheel is a mere hula-hoop.


The modern Little Red Riding Hood, reared on singing commercials, has no objection to being eaten by the wolf.


We look at the present through a rear view mirror. We march backwards into the future.


The world of visual perspective is one of unified and homogeneous space.

Such a world is alien to the resonating diversity of spoken words. So language was the last art to accept the visual logic of Gutenberg technology, and the first to rebound in the electric age.


In an age of multiple and massive innovations, obsolescence becomes the major obsession.


Like primitive, we now live in a global village of our own making, a simultaneous happening. It doesn't necessarily mean harmony and peace and quiet but it does mean huge involvement in everybody else's affairs.


In television, images are projected at you.

You are the screen. The images wrap around you. You are the vanishing point.


About Marshall McLuhan

Quotes 369 sayings
Nationality Canadian
Profession Philosopher
Birthday July 21, 1911

The alphabet was one thing when applied to clay or stone, and quite another when set down on light papyrus.


the only people who have proof of their sanity are those who have been discharged from mental institutions


Language as the technology of human extension, whose powers of division and separation we know so well, may have been the "Tower of Babel" by which men sought to scale the highest heavens. Today computers hold out the promise of a means of instant tr


The past went that-a-way. When faced with a totally new situation, we tend always to attach ourselves to the objects, to the flavor of the most recent past. We look at the present through a rear view mirror. We march backwards into the future.


The more the data banks record about each one of us, the less we exist.


The suddenness of the leap from hardware to software cannot but produce a period of anarchy and collapse, especially in the developed countries.


The new electronic independence re-creates the world in the image of a global village.


We become what we behold. We shape our tools and then our tools shape us.


Advertising is an environmental striptease for a world of abundance.


Most of our assumptions have outlived their uselessness.


Man works when he is partially involved. When he is totally involved he is at play or leisure.


The age of automation is going to be the age of "do it yourself".


I don't necessarily agree with everything that I say.


Today the tyrant rules not by club or fist, but, disguised as a market researcher, he shepherds his flocks in the ways of utility and comfort.


Environments are not just containers, but are processes that change the content totally.


A point of view can be a dangerous luxury when substituted for insight and understanding.


Societies have always been shaped more by the nature of the media by which men communicate than by the content of the communication.


The future masters of technology will have to be light-hearted and intelligent.

The machine easily masters the grim and the dumb.


It is the weak and confused who worship the pseudosimplicities of brutal directness.


The successor to politics will be propaganda. Propaganda, not in the sense of a message or ideology, but as the impact of the whole technology of the times.


Only the small secrets need to be protected. The large ones are kept secret by public incredulity.


We go forward looking in the rearview mirror.


Persons grouped around a fire or candle for warmth or light are less able to pursue independent thoughts, or even tasks, than people supplied with electric light. In the same way, the social and educational patterns latent in automation are those of self-employment and artistic autonomy.


The poet, the artist, the sleuth, whoever sharpens our perception tends to antisocial; rarely 'well adjusted,' he cannot go along with currents and trends.


One of the effects of living with electric information is that we live habitually in a state of information overload. There's always more than you can cope with.


Diaper backward spells repaid. Think about it.


Historians and archaeologists will one day discover that the ads of our time are the richest and most faithful reflections that any society ever made of its entire range of activities.


Professionalism is environmental. Amateurism is anti environmental. Professionalism merges the individual into patterns of total environment. Amateurism seeks the development of the total awareness of the individual and the critical awareness of the ground rules of society. The amateur can afford to loose.


What we call art would seem to be specialist artifacts for enhancing human perception.


Faced with information overload, we have no alternative but pattern-recognition.


Art is anything you can get away with.


Television brought the brutality of war into the comfort of the living room.

Vietnam was lost in the living rooms of America - not on the battlefields of Vietnam.


The mother tongue is propaganda.


Ideally, advertising aims at the goal of a programmed harmony among all human impulses and aspirations and endeavors. Using handicraft methods, it stretches out toward the ultimate electronic goal of a collective consciousness.


"Work" does not exist in a nonliterate world.

The primitive hunter or fisherman did no work, any more than does the poet, painter, or thinker of today. Where the whole man is involved there is no work.


Gutenberg made everybody a reader. Xerox makes everybody a publisher.


Television is teaching all the time. Does more educating than the schools and all the institutions of higher learning.