From Kirkpatrick Sale
Let’s Get Rid of the Economy of Growth
June 27, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California,
It’s getting worse and worse, and the wizards don’t have a clue. They don’t even know the economy is broken—and can’t be fixed. That’s why they keep doing more of the same with the same old solutions and same old people.
Nothing could be more obvious, and I think most sentient people in the land know this in their hearts. And nothing could be more obvious than the need to overhaul that economy entirely—which is indeed the opportunity we have now.
I don’t mean we have to scrap the capitalist system entirely, but we do have to reign it in. We have to fit it in to the limits of the real world. We have to understand that economics is a subsystem of the overall ecosystem. We have to realize that continuing to base it on the concepts of growth and consumption—and encouraging, “stimulating,” more of that—will lead to the collapse not only of the global economy but probably the industrial civilization it serves.
Isn’t it obvious that the Keynesian idea of growth at all costs, particularly growth fostered by large governments that can print money, has failed? Isn’t it clear that we can’t keep on throwing money at this failed economy and that something quite different is needed? The U.S. economy has been devoted exclusively to the idea of perpetual growth since the end of World War II, and it has allowed any number of evils—environmental destruction, greenhouse gases, pollution, resource depletion, military expansion, government inefficiency and corruption, corporate political domination, unregulated financial institutions, immense inequality, a perpetual underclass, the decay of public education, and that’s just for starters—in its pursuit. Isn’t it obvious that it doesn’t work and that the current Great Recession is the proof of that?…
The alternative? Nothing complicated: a non-growth economy. A human-scale economy. A steady-state economy.
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See also the moralities of scale at Orion→