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242 pages, Paperback
First published January 1, 1982
By a seeming fate, commonly called necessity, [the mass of men] are employed, as it says in an old book, laying up treasures which moth and rust will corrupt and thieves break through and steal. It is a fool's life, as they will find when they get to the end of it, if not before. . . . I sometimes wonder that we can be so frivolous. . . . As if you could kill time without injuring eternity.
We hear the demand by conventional economists for increased "productivity." Productivity of what? for whose benefit? to what end? by what means and at what cost? Those questions are not considered. We are belabored by the insistence on the part of our politicians, businessmen and military leaders, and the claque of scriveners who serve them, that "growth" and "power" are intrinsic goods, of which we can never have enough, or even too much. As if gigantism were an end in itself. As if a commendable rat were a rat twelve hands high at the shoulders -- and still growing. As if we could never have peace on this planet until one state dominates all others.
How much wilderness is enough? And what is it good for anyway? Who needs it? We might answer these questions with counter questions. How many cities are enough? How large a human population do we really need? How much industrial development must we have to be content?
Consider our politics, for example: the right to choose once every two or four years between Party A and Party B, Candidate C and Candidate D is a pitiful gesture in the exercise of freedom, hardly deserving of the name of citizenship.