That's the point. It's a complete waste of resources. The US built Mt Rushmore and Hoover dam and a ton of other useless crap in the middle of the depression for recent examples.
That's not 'civilized progress', that's induced economic impoverishment of a society.
Most pyramids were built in slave owning societies by slaves. That's not 'civilized progress'.
Washing machines and smartphones. These sorts of things make peoples' lives better and don't require government theft. There's your 'civilized progress'.
Huge wasteful white elephants that aggrandize men is neither civilized nor progress.