There is productive consumption and there is non-productive consumption. In the Keynesian mind, it's not necessary to produce anything, so long as people spend and consume endlessly, even to the point of destroying real wealth.
Henry Ford's factories had a hard time keeping workers because the work was monotonous. So Ford helped keep workers around through reduced hours, vacation time, and other benefits that are now considered typical.
Hunter-gatherer societies stripped the local environment of resources and then moved on to another place. There was nothing environmentally responsible about this sort of economy, in spite of modern efforts to portray prehistoric humans as tree huggers.
Economic history is possible only because there is an economic theory capable of throwing light upon economic actions. If there were no economic theory, reports concerning economic facts would be nothing more than a collection of unconnected data open to any arbitrary interpretation.