The Need For Luxury [Bonus]
A reading from Petr Kropotkin's The Conquest of Bread
In 1892, Petr Kropotkin published The Conquest of Bread, where he outlined his vision for a fair and equitable society. He contrasted his views against that of the Communist system, which advocated for the basic needs of all human beings to be met and little else, with the addition that humanity’s creative needs also be met. He said that food, shelter, and shoes on one’s feet would not suffice to meet human needs. The need for creative expression and the joy of luxury must also be met. There are basic physical human needs, but there are also psychological needs—this is what. Remarkable that over one hundred years ago, we had the likes of Kropotkin advocating for these changes in society. The Conquest of Bread is a leftist manifesto but worth consideration for what it asks of us as we consider a society that is fair to all rather than the privileged few.
“Man is not a being whose exclusive purpose in life is eating, drinking, and providing a shelter for himself. As soon as his material wants are satisfied, other needs of an artistic character will thrust themselves forward the more ardently. The aims of life vary with each and every individual, and the more society is civilized, the more individuality will be developed, and the more desire will be varied.
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