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The Disease of Materialism


 

The Disease of Materialism

(The present Controller of the world)

by

Mahatma Gandhi (1869 - 1948)

 

Western nations are today groaning under the heel of the monster god of materialism. Their moral growth has become stunted. They measure their progress in pounds, shillings and pence [or money]. American wealth has become standard. She is the envy of other nations. I have heard many of our countrymen say that we will gain American wealth but avoid its method. I venture to suggest that such an attempt if it were made is foredoomed to failure. We cannot be "wise, temperate and furious" in a moment. I would have our leaders to teach us to be morally supreme in the world.

This land of ours was once, we are told, the abode of the gods. It is not possible to conceive gods inhabiting a land which is made hideous by the smoke and the din of mill chimneys and factories, and whose roadways are traversed by rushing engines dragging numerous cars crowded with men mostly who know not what they are after, who are often absent-minded and whose tempers do not improve by being uncomfortably packed like sardines in boxes and finding themselves in the midst of utter strangers who would oust them if they could and whom they would in their turn oust similarly. I refer to these things because they are held to be symbolical of material progress.

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