Johnny Marr knew he wanted to write about society on his semi-conceptual album Call The Comet, but not this society. So instead, the musician imagined his own reality. He came up with a part-utopian "alternative society" which Marr told The Independent "resets the ridiculousness of the last few years" with humanity at its core. This song is the manifestation of Marr's dream society in which the citizens forever can "can live to the limit" and "give to the limit."
Mojo asked Johnny Marr where the song's striking post-punk mood came from? He replied:
"Actor Attractor was written on a very foggy night in the north of England. A factory has very deliberate associations to me. The promise of industrial music marriage with guitars, I think, is the promise of a future sound."