“Civilization seeks to increase bodily comforts, and it fails miserably even in doing so.” Furthermore, “Even a child can understand all the inducement [of civilization] described above will ¬†induce morality.”¬†

Gandhi argues that a society in which consistently makes it easier to obtain “bodily comforts.” In fact, it actively discourages morality.

Does that mean that we should abandon all efforts to build technology, which inevitable turn into labor saving devices? Or does that mean we build them for a different purpose?

2 thoughts on “Gandhi

  1. I also found Gandhi’s take on technology rather complex. While he does seem to oppose “labour-saving machinery”, he also praises the invention of such technology like the pin and sewing machine, which are both arguably labour-saving machinery. Thus, I read his take on technology as being against not so much technology itself but the (what he calls) “craze” for building technology, a craze that becomes large enough to put others out of work or fail to satisfy “primary needs” of the people.

  2. Yup, agreed — very complex views. I also agree that he wouldn’t be against all technology, but would encourage mindful use of technology. As he mentions, though, its not clear that civilization is geared to that kind of ‘slow’ engagement with productivity-enhancing machinery and technology.

    I’d be curious to know how his views on machinery, science, and technology changed over time. Given the quotes a few of us pulled from the first preface, it does seem like they were tempered a bit — but hard to say. It also would have been fascinating to see how his views on technology would have changed had he not been assassinated.

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