The modern material civilization and " progress"

For what moderns have agreed to call ‘progress’, is nothing else than a purely material progress; but  its ‘benefits’, of which they are so proud, aren’t they  illusory? most people today claim they increase their ‘welfare’ by this means; in my opinion, the aim they set to themselves, even if it was really reached, its not worth  of so much effort; moreover, it seems a very debatable question whether they do reach it really, since the modern society constantly creates more artificial needs than it can satisfy…So people get never really satisfied and always run after a new material desire…

Other than that, it should be taken into account also  that not all men have the same tastes or the same needs, and that there are still  who would wish  avoid modern commotion and the craving for speed, but who can no longer do so ?? Could anyone presume to maintain that it is a ‘benefit’ to these people to have thrust on them what is most contrary to their nature? It will be said in reply that there are few such men today, and this is considered a justification for treating them as a negligible quantity; in this, as in the field of politics, the majority arrogates to itself the right to crush minorities, which, in its eyes, evidently have no right to exist, since their very existence defies the egalitarian mania for uniformity.

But if the whole of mankind is taken into consideration, instead of merely the Western world, the question bears a different aspect: the majority i have just spoken of then becomes a minority. A different argument is therefore used in this case, and by a strange contradiction it is in the name of their ‘superiority’ that these ‘egalitarians’ seek to impose their civilization on the rest of the world, and that they bring trouble to people who have never asked them for anything; and, since this ‘superiority exists only from the material point of view, it is quite natural that the most brutal means are used to assert it.  if the general public accepts the pretext of ‘civilization’ in all good faith, there are those fo

r whom it is no more than mere moralistic hypocrisy, serving as a mask for designs of conquest or economic ambitions…

It is really an extraordinary epoch in which man can be made to believe that  people can be given happiness by being reduced to subjection, by being robbed of all that is most precious to them, their own civilization, by being forced to adopt manners and institutions that were made for a different race, and by being constrained to the most distasteful kinds of work, in order to make them acquire things for which they don’t have  the slightest need…

The modern West cannot tolerate that men prefer to work less and be content to live on little; as it is only quantity that counts, and as everything that escapes the senses is held to be nonexistent, it is taken for granted that anyone who is not in a state of agitation and who does not produce much in a material way, is considered ‘lazy’. we can notice that  in the opinions commonly expressed about Eastern peoples, and how the contemplative orders are viewed, even in circles that consider themselves religious.

In such a world, there is no longer any place for intelligence, or anything else that is purely inward, for these are things that can neither be seen nor touched, that can neither be counted nor weighed; there is a place only for outward action in all its forms, even those that are the most completely meaningless…

A world in which such things are seen has indeed sunk low and seems near its end…

Written by Maya

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