Has There Been Progress Since 1250?

“Even in backward mining communities, as late as the sixteenth century more than half the recorded days were holidays; while for Europe as a whole, the total number of holidays, including Sunday, came to 189, a number even greater than those enjoyed by Imperial Rome. Nothing more clearly indicates a surplus of food and human energy, if not material goods. Modern labor-saving devices have as yet done no better.”

Quoted from “Myth of the Machine : Technics and Human Development“, Lewis Mumford, 1967.