Man and His Gods

Excerpt from John Stuart Mill's "On Liberty"

"I cannot . . . regard the stationary state of capital and wealth with the unaffected aversion so generally manifested towards it by political economists of the old school. I am inclined to believe that it would be, on the whole, a very considerable improvement on our present condition. I confess I am not charmed with the ideal of life held out by those who think that the normal state of human beings is that of struggling to get on; that the trampling, crushing, elbowing, and treading on each otheršs heels . . . are the most desirable lot of humankind . . . It is scarcely necessary to remark that a stationary condition of capital and population implies no stationary state of human improvement. There would be as much scope as ever for all kinds of mental culture and moral and social progress; as much room for improving the Art of Living, and much more likelihood of its being improved." (Italics added by ERP)


Nadeau, R. 2008. The Economist has No Clothes. Scientific American, April 2008, p. 42.

Nadeau: Brother, Can You Spare Me a Planet?