Man Vs. Machine: Gandhi

Don’t know how I managed to miss the thoughts of Gandhi on man versus machine, but I did…

“The supreme consideration is man. The machine should not tend to make atrophied the limbs of man.”

“What I object to is the craze for machinery, not machinery as such. The craze is for what they call labour-saving money. Men go on ‘saving labour’ till thousands are without work and thrown on the open streets to die of starvation. I want to save time and labour, not for a fraction of mankind, but for all.”

“I can have no consideration for machinery which is meant either to enrich the few at the expense of the many, of without cause to displace the useful labour of many.”

“My opposition to machinery is much misunderstood. I am not opposed to machinery as such. I am opposed to machinery which displaces labour and leaves it idle.”

“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 labour, but greed. It is against this constitution of things that I am fighting with all my might….”

“Ours has been described as the machine age because the machine dominates our economy. ‘Now, what is machine?’ one may ask. In a sense, man is the most wonderful machine in creation. It can neither be duplicated nor copied. I have, however, used the word not in its wider sense, but in the sense of an appliance that tends to displace human or animal labour instead of supplementing it or merely increasing its efficiency. This is the first differential characteristic of the machine. The second characteristic is that there is no limit to its growth or evolution. This cannot be said of human labour. There is a limit beyond which its capacity or mechanical efficiency cannot go. Out of this circumstance arises the characteristic of the machine.”

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