“Th[e] Industrial Revolution, which started a century and a half ago in the west and still has not come to a complete end, can be regarded in part as an unmistakable expression of a living faith, i.e. the faith that things would get better and better through the advance of modern technology within the framework of a growing free market production. [author’s original emphasis]

“Without this deep faith in the intensely redemptive power of technological-economic progress, the Industrial Revolution is and remains a phenomenon that cannot be explained. I think, for example, of  the leading American industrialist Carnegie, who wrote a book around the turn of the [20th] century which he entitled The Gospel of Wealth. In this book he says that we must understand that ‘obedience’ to the laws of industrial progress guarantees us the joy of a new life in which poverty and oppression disappear and happiness returns to the earth. if such a faith is dominant and becomes generally accepted—and it has become accepted to a considerable extent—then there is no longer any barrier in allowing economics and technology to provide the leadership, not just in some areas of life, but in principle all of them. Because of this faith, economics and technology, as saviours and pioneers leading the way to a new era, assume the role of infallible guides.

” . . . But if it turns out that the driving force of a faith is embedded within the forward march of technology and the economic system, and that this faith is still operative in part today, then we must admit that the danger of an overdevelopment of both technology and the economic system was present from the outset. Their expansion was accompanied by an expectation of happiness that relativized anything that might raise objections against them.” [author’s original emphasis]

–Bob Goudzwaard, Aid for the Overdeveloped West (Wedge, 1975), pp. 3-4

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