Tag Archives: economic growth

Escaping the growth imperative

A friend recently expressed to me one of the essential conundrums of contemporary  capitalist society: “I can see growth can’t continue, [because of the environmental impacts] but I can’t see how we can stop it without the whole system falling over like a stack of cards.”

One good answer can be found in the recent report of the U.K Sustainability Commission, titled Prosperity Without Growth.  But I thought I might also give a much shorter answer that comes at it from a slightly different angle, in the hope my friend and others might find it helpful.

Let’s look at why economies grow, and why capitalism (as we know it) depends on growth, because then we will quickly discover our answer as to how – in principle – we might create a no/low growth economy that doesn’t collapse and doesn’t produce social disaster.

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Filed under Aotearoa New Zealand, Barry, capitalism, economic analysis, sustainability

Green Puritanism or green realism? Frank Furedi on environmentalism

Frank Furedi, sociologist, political guru, and much else besides, writes an occasional column called “Really Bad Ideas” on the Spiked website. In his column, Furedi offers cultural and political criticism on issues as diverse as “The tyranny of science” and “Censorship”. It didn’t take Furedi too long to get around to ripping in to environmentalism, which he did in a column published in September 2007 here. There are plenty of critiques of green politics around the web and the secondhand bookstores of the world, but this is certainly among the more interesting, rigorous and insightful that I have read.

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Filed under David, green politics

Economic security: A green alternative to the growth obsession

The green movement’s broad political strategy is to question the validity of the state’s legitimation: the sense that citizens have that the government institutions of the society within which they live are “just, benevolent, in their best interest, and deserving of their support, loyalty, and adherence.” In this article I want to look at the ways in which greens challenge the state’s legitimacy in practice, and the gains this strategy has delivered. The key point at which this strategy has fallen down is identified and a solution proposed.

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Filed under David, economic analysis, green politics, social justice