The false-god of economic growth…
Interesting title- considering discussions about apocalyptic end times obsessiveness in some parts of the Christian world. A timely reminder of how we can get snarled up in religion at the expense of hope for the future this beautiful planet.
The book opens up again the question about what we can do as a nation to break economic mono culture that we have spent ourselves into. Here is a quote from the article;
Consume less, he says. Be sceptical about new technology. Slow down. And do not fall for the modern political class’s post-Blair belief that history is bunk, and to draw on the past is to be a hopeless throwback: it is only a comparative blink since the second world war found millions of people reshaping their lives in the cause of a common endeavour, and the same thing could yet happen again.
And then there is the fetish of growth, or rather growth-ism. As Simms points out, the idea that economies necessarily have their limits was being voiced when capitalism was still young: in 1848, John Stuart Mill argued that “a stationary condition of capital and population implies no stationary state of human improvement”. A century and a half later, Adair Turner, a former director of the CBI, told Simms that if anyone thinks “the most important objective of public policy is to get growth from 1.9 per cent to 2 per cent and even better 2.1 per cent”, they’re worshipping a “false god”, and ”extra growth does not automatically translate into extra human welfare and happiness”.
These are pretty ordinary thoughts, but ones that the dull noise coming from Westminster renders almost exotic – and essential.