Piet Mondrian once wrote that "Life is basically simple. It may grow more and more complex, but it need not lose this simplicity. Complexity needs to be perfected, simplicity is man's perfect state." This statement encapsulates the values that would come to inform twentieth-century modernism. But it was not just the era's art that exalted puritythe same logic was at work in agriculture, urban planning and population control. This publication explores how the desire for "the pure" ultimately manifested as an economic process, advocating a need for technology to become an agent for the impure and the imperfect.