The belief supported by Rousseau that living simply and on a low income improves character or promotes spirituality is correct only in the case of those who have renounced the world, that is, of monks and nuns. In the case of the others, who constitute the mass of mankind, it is correct only for exceptional persons who know how to live in the world and yet not be of it. But most people are in the grade of life's school where they need to acquire experience and develop the faculties of human individuality. The spurs to that are first, responsibility, and second, ambition. These and the need to discharge family obligation must in the end force them to improve themselves and to improve their position.
-- Notebooks Category 2: Overview of Practicies Involved > Chapter 7: Discipline Desires > # 126