Supreme Consideration Is Man
--by Gandhi (Aug 06, 2001)
What I object to is the "craze" for machinery, not machinery as such. The craze is what they call labor-saving machinery. Men go on "saving labor" till thousands arewithout work and thrown on the open streets to die of starvation. I want to save time and labor not for a fraction of mankind but for all; I want the concentration of wealth not in the hands of a few but in the hands of all. Today machinery merely helps a few to ride on the backs of millions. The impetus behind it all is not the philanthropy to save labor but greed. It is against this constitution of things that I am fighting with all my might. [...]
The supreme consideration is man. The machine should not attend to make atrophied the limbs of man. [...] I want the millions of our land to be healthy and happy, and I want them to grow spiritually. As yet, for this purpose we do not need the machine. There are many, too many, idle hands. But as we grow in understanding, if we feel the need for machines, we certainly will have them. We want industry, let us become industrious. Let us become more self dependent; then we will not follow other people's lead so much. We shall introduce machines if and when we need them. Once we shape our lives on nonviolence, we shall know how to control the machine.
-- Mahatma Gandhi