Saturday, August 07, 2004

Material Persons

Daniel Akst sees through those who express guilt about material progress:
Heck, Thoreau could never have spent all that time at Walden if his friend Ralph Waldo Emerson hadn’t bought the land. It’s fitting that getting and spending -— by somebody —- gave us our most famous anti-materialist work of literature. Getting and spending by everyone else continues to make the intellectual life possible, which is why universities are named for the likes of Carnegie, Rockefeller, Stanford, and Duke. Every church has a collection plate, after all, even if the priests like to bite the hands that feed them.