There’s a lot more to life than material comforts. Especially if you’re fortunate enough to have enough money to live comfortably. If, however, you don’t have enough to feed and clothe your family, then money is probably all you think about.
Wealth frees people from materialism. Poverty enslaves them.
There’s more to life than technology too. Especially if you own some. But if you have to do everything by hand, then there probably isn’t more to your life. It’s all just hard work.
Wealth and technology enable us to live life to the full. But they do so much more than satisfy material needs. They enable human rights and freedoms.
Birth control and washing machines liberated women in the 1960s just as much as progressive social attitudes.
The invention of machines for sowing seeds and harvesting crops made the abolition of slavery in 1833 a political possibility.
Economic growth during the nineteenth century made it possible for children to go to school instead of working in the fields or factories to support their families.
It’s not an accident that throughout most of history women, children and minorities were oppressed. We like to think that it’s our modern liberal attitudes that have changed all that. We’d do well to remember that progressive thinking depends on a growing economy and continued technological innovation.
So if you’re one of those people who thinks that economic growth and technological advancement have “gone far enough” and we ought to live simpler, more frugal lives, then I hope for your sake that you’re a rich, healthy, white, heterosexual male. Otherwise you might find that the old ways weren’t so good after all.