Chapter 3: The Uses of Wealth"For all its vestigial resonance, the idea of the good life no longer forms part of public discussion in the Western world. Politicians argue their case in terms of choice, efficiency or the protection of rights. (...) The effect of this development has been to release the acquisitive instinct from all fixed bounds. If there is no such thing as the good life, then acquisition has no absolute goal, only the relative one of 'as much as' or 'more than' the others. (...) Positional struggle is our fate. If there is no right place to be, it is best to be ahead. How can we explain the eclipse of the good life? (...) The eclipe of the good life explains the endless expansion of wants. A tendency to insatiability has always been recognized, but was previously held in check by prohibitions and countervailing ideals. Those prohibitions and ideals have now vanished. Detached from any vision of the human good, and fomented by envy and boredom, wants multiply like the heads of the mythical Hydra."