Instead of using their vastly increased material and technical resources to build a wonder city, the men of the nineteenth century built slums … [which] on the test of private enterprise, ‘paid,’ whereas the wonder city would, they thought, have been an act of foolish extravagance, which would, in the imbecile idiom of the financial fashion, have ‘mortgaged the future’ … The same rule of self-destructive financial calculation governs every walk of life. We destroy the beauty of the countryside because the un-appropriated splendors of nature have no economic value. We are capable of shutting off the sun and the stars because they do not pay a dividend.

sources

  1. Ill Fares the Land