The abstractions of science are too readily assimilable to the abstractions of industry and commerce, which see everything as interchangeable with or replaceable by something else. There is a kind of egalitarianism which holds that any two things equal in price are equal in value, and that nothing is better than anything that may profitably or fashionably replace it. Forest = field = parking lot; if the price of alteration is right, then there is no point in quibbling over differences. One place is as good as another, one use is as good as another, one life is as good as another — if the price is right. Thus political sentimentality metamorphoses into commercial indifference or aggression. This is the industrial doctrine of the interchangeability of parts, and we apply it to places, to creatures, and to our fellow humans as if it were the law of the world, using all the while a sort of middling language, imitated from the sciences, that cannot speak of heaven or earth, but only of concepts. This is a rhetoric of nowhere, which forbids a passionate interest in, let alone a love of, anything in particular.
Wendell Berry, from Life Is a Miracle