Endless growth is a real danger

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

More than 150 years ago John Stuart Mills wrote this and he went on to say that in advanced capitalist countries it is necessary to establish, what he called, a stationary state of the economy in order to limit unnecessary growth.

And he gave three reasons for this. He said that this is to prevent excessive urbanization ands overcrowding, to stop the environment being damaged, and to avoid material prosperity being overvalued.

It is such a shame, I have to say, that no one listened to him and heeded his warnings. We could have saved ourselves and the Planet so much grief. But, greed got the better of most, it would appear, and it still has us in its grip.

The world has wasted more than a century and a half and the actions and greed of government and corporations have caused the destruction of much of Earth, the extinction of species and has brought us to the brink of an ecological catastrophe that is threatening all (human) life on this Planet.

Then, in the 1960s we got a similar message from E. F. Schumacher in his book “Small is beautiful: Economy as if people mattered”, and while people who understood heeded his message, governments and corporations, obviously neither understood nor heeded the message.

Now writers of even big newspapers in Britain are falling over themselves in saying how very right and farseeing Schumacher was.

Those who have heeded the message and others like it have been telling that everyone ever since but were written off as crackpots.

And, in all that wasted time people and the environment got exploited further for the profits of governments and especially corporations. And it is now about two minutes to twelve and still the powers that be talk but spin and how this or that will save us and allow us to continue with business as usual.

They are not listening and, unfortunately, neither are the masses who have been lulled to sleep believing everything that they are being told by the political class.

We must be seriously stupid to buy what they are selling. The truth, however much it might hurt, is that the way of life we have known ever since about the 1980s is coming to an end.

Cheap food and cheap products (Made in China) will soon be history and in the latter case that is sure going to be a good thing too as we then, maybe, get some things again that will be made in such a way (more or less locally) that last and – perish the thought – that can actually be repaired when something goes wrong with them.

This transition to a new system, which we must make, is going to be painful, especially for those who have never known another way. But we must do it. We don't need (yet another) new government; we need a new economic system and a new political one too.

© 2012