The more I learn about even just 1940s technologies and the amount of material, technology and the size of the industrial base that lays beneath something as simple as steel with tin plating, a vacuum tube or other bits of effectively ancient technology, I become more and more bemused at the folks who decry the "corporate machine" and yet ignore the vast amount of modern technology in their lives that was made possible by the efficiencies of that same corporate machine.
You could have your hand made tools, a change of two of clothes, but you'd hardly be able to afford them or the materials to have more than a basic sustenance of food and life giving resources. Odds are, without that corporate machine, if you injured your hand and got an infection you could easily die. You wouldn't have an iPod, the computer you're reading this on, no electronics, books would cost a fortune and you'd hear music when a local musician came around and played. Hopefully you could afford to feed him some food in exchange for his services.
Yes a lot of modern jobs are very simple and basic rote work. They have to be. you're not going to magically get non-simple and basic rote work jobs with old technology like working iron ore in a furnace to make iron to then work in a forge just to make basic tools. Someone has to cut all the wood, fold the clay for the furnace and walk around in fields digging up bog ore. Heck, just pumping the forge bellows....do that for 2 days straight for an ore smelt. You can't stop. Someone has to work in shifts on it and you have to keep wood going into it as well, which means before you start the whole process you're stockpiling wood and clay and all the rest of the materials involved.
It's crazy, every time I sit down and look at a new technology like say something as theoretically simple as a vacuum tube or a basic 1940s relay, I'm amazed at the craftsmanship that went into them and yet we were turning out millions of them because of corporate industrialization. Something as simple as the electrical control box on our car is something that would take me, several years to build bit by bit by hand and yet CAV was turning them out hundreds per day because of their precise specialization for each task.
All of these things turn into efficiencies that allow us to have highly efficient coal fired electrical plants rather than smoky houses heated by wood or coal burning fires that require constant attention and generators we have to tend ourselves. All of that efficiency is dividends back to society with things costing less than if they were each made by individual craftsmen making those complex items.
That's not to say that the corporation should ignore the human element. Far from it. There must be between the hands and the head the heart.