Questioner: You, like so many Orientals, seem to be against industrialization. Why are you?
Krishnamurti: I do not know if many Orientals are against industrialization and if they are I do not know what reasons they would give, but I thought I explained why I consider that mere industrialization is not a solution for our human problem with its conflicts and sorrows. Mere industrialization encourages sensate value, bigger and better bathrooms, bigger and better cars, distractions, amusements and all the rest of it. External and temporal values take precedence over eternal value. Happiness, peace is sought in possessions, made by the hand or by the mind; in addiction to things or to mere knowledge. Walk down any principal street and you will see shop after shop selling the same thing in different colours, shapes; innumerable magazines and thousands of books. We want to be distracted, amused, taken away from ourselves for we are so wretched and poor, empty and sorrowful. And so where there is demand there is production and the tyranny of the machine. And we think by mere industrialization we shall solve the economic and social problem. Does it? You may temporarily, but with it come wars, revolutions, oppression, exploitation, bringing so-called civilization - industrialization with all its implications - to the uncivilized.
Industrialization and the machine are here, you cannot do away with them; they take their right place only when man is not dependent for his happiness on things, only when he cultivates inner riches, the imperishable treasures of reality. Without these mere industrialization brings untold horrors; with inner treasures industrialization has a meaning. This problem is not of any country or race; it is a human issue. Without the balancing power of compassion and unworldliness you will have, through the mere increase of the production of things, of facts and of technique, bigger and better wars, economic oppression and frontiers of power, more subtle ways of deception, disunity and tyranny.
A stone may change the course of a river, so a few who understand may perhaps divert this terrible course of man. But it is difficult to with stand the constant pressure of modern civilization unless one is constantly aware and so is discovering the treasures that are imperishable.
6th Public Talk 18th June, 1944