In Arthur Ponsonby’s The Camel and the Needle’s Eye, published 1910, he describes how industrial progress was affecting the physical and mental health of ordinary people. He drew an immediate parallel to the way in which money controls us:

“Money, by convincing us of its indispensable nature and egging us on in the scramble for more, has, however much we may resent it, got the upper hand and has practically enslaved us. A comparison can be made with the modern mania for speed. The rapidity of the means of locomotion encourages a perpetual rush and deludes people into supposing that the faster they go the more they will accomplish. There is a foolish belief that steam, electricity, and petrol have been turned to our own use and have been mastered, whereas these giant forces are playing with us and stirring us, like ants in a disturbed ant-hill, into an almost ridiculous state of flurry and confusion which is detrimental both to our minds and our bodies, and the sum total of our higher accomplishments is more likely to show a decline than an increase from the days before these forces were let loose. But rapid locomotion is at present too fascinating for us to resist. Just in the same way the allurements of money are carrying us away down a steep incline to unforeseen perils.”

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