What is the measure of development?

by: Shreepal Singh (Advocate, Supreme Court)

The amount of happiness of a person determines the quality of his or her life and not the amount of materials conducive for that happiness that he or she consumes. Happiness is a state of mind and the provision of conducive material conditions do not guarantee the happiness.

Provision of those conditions are necessary to a certain extent but not to the unlimited extent. By the operation of the well-known economic principle of “the diminishing utility of commodities”,  the provision of those conducive material conditions at a certain level becomes counter productive.

At that extreme level – at the stage where humans are mindlessly pampered with material comforts – the whole venture, the venture to make humans progress and develop, becomes mindless activity reeking with motivated selfish interests.

At that level, this exercise becomes a waste of resources, counter productive and even an obstruction to happiness.

The very idea of providing more and more material conditions by Market Economy for making progress is flawed in its core concept. Societies built on this idea today have become rot of humanity, the biggest wasters of natural resources and polluters on Earth. This idea has put the human survival on Earth in jeopardy.


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