It would be the saddest sign of decay of a period if the impetus to a higher spiritual achievement lay only in the increased wage.
If this criterion had been the sole determination in the world up to now, humanity would never have received its greatest scientific and cultural treasures. For the greatest inventions, the greatest discoveries, the most revolutionary scientific work, the most magnificent monuments of human culture, have not been given to the world through the urge for money. On the contrary, their birth not seldom meant positive renunciation of the earthly happiness of riches.
It may be that today gold has become the exclusive ruler of life, but the time will come when man will again bow down before a higher god. Many things today owe their existence solely to the longing for money and wealth, but there is very little among them whose non-existence would leave humanity any the poorer.
This, too, is a task of our movement; even now it must herald a day which will give to the individual what he needs for living, but uphold the principle that man does not live exclusively for the sake of material pleasures.
(Houghton Mifflin edition, Ralph Manheim translation 2:2, page 436)