Growth or Life?

Growth or Life?

Our world is a diverse place brimming with ideas and stories but isn’t it strange when it comes to economics for some reason we’ve all ended up settling for the same system a single-story capitalism Here’s the thing. We tend to talk a lot about what it does: private enterprise advertising, stocks and bonds, the market, but we talk a lot less about the WHY. What is the deep logic that makes capitalism tick? It all comes down to one golden rule. The purpose of capitalism is to grow more capital. That’s it. And where does capital come from? You have to choose to squeeze it out of the world. Choose to squeeze it out of the land and the seas; out of the human bodies and the other living creatures Wring it out of time itself. Politicians have a cuddly sounding euphemism for this They just call it growth, and they tell us it needs to be 3% Every year the system starts to break down. That doesn’t sound like much but 3% per year actually means doubling the size of the global economy every 20 years Doubling the cars, the smartphones, the air miles, the plastics. It doesn’t take a genius to know that we can’t have infinite growth on a finite planet We’re already taking far more than can be replaced and we can see the consequences all around us: climate change, deforestation, soil depletion, perpetual war, the mass extinction of species. . . It’s got so bad that we’re now threatening the foundations of all of life itself It doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, it can’t stay this way. We have a choice to make Prioritize growth, or prioritize life. We can’t do both There are so many different options out there from new types of money that undercut the drivers of growth, to regenerative farming to rebalance our food systems, to new ways of measuring progress and well-being One thing is clear: the era of treating capital as more important than life is coming to an end one way or another. If we are going to survive the Anthropocene it will be because we create post-growth economies that allow us to flourish on this beautiful and generous planet we call home


16 thoughts on “Growth or Life?”

  • Atish Baboolal says:

    I love these videos, the message and I agree with all of it. Where can I find out more about the alternatives mentioned at the end?

  • Howard Switzer says:

    We have what we call an economic system in which the issuance of money is controlled by private interests for profit. It is one of two monetary paradigms. Its a system that controls industry and government alike as well as the population as a whole through mass psychology delivered through mass media and schools. It is a system based on usury which has negative psychological consequences, 'Wetiko,' right? So let's not dwell on the symptoms of the disease, our message should inspire people world-around to focus on work to implement the remedy. The remedy is the other monetary paradigm, where the issuance of money is publicly (democratically) controlled and issued for the care of the general welfare of society, the people and their places. It is what the American Revolution was about, won militarily, lost monetarily. Money is more about power than economics. That is why it must be in the public trust, to help us restore the commons. Nice artistry though.

  • Capitalism goes against nature, requiring constant growth. It is unsustainable. Egyptians had a thriving empire without money for over 3,500 years. They used a barter system. There must be another way…like conscious capitalism.

  • this was all researched in the 1972 MIT "limits to growth" work.

    this is NOT political, it is math and science.

    and don't forget about human yeast breeding 1,000,000 every 4.5 days adding to our already overpopulated 7.6 billion.

  • Rafael Morgado says:

    Awesome video! But it would be great to be directed to where the discussions about the alternatives are being held.

  • The problem is the mindset of the ultra wealthy/powerful decision makers – me and my family will always be protected from the ravages of the world so if millions/billions suffer or die it makes no difference to us, so why not carry on exploiting as we have since time immemorial.

    Or maybe those who are really to blame are the masses that willingly hand over their power to the privileged few, becuase without their consent none of this would be possible. Never mind that power corrupts, it seems greed gets the better of even once great people once they arrive in positions of oversight. The human condition, will we master it before reality gives our species a hard lesson and knocks us down to size, ie the human population is radically cut down in size by widespread famine and hardship. I can only say from looking at how humans behave all over the world and have behaved for centuries, is that we only seem to be able to learn the hard way 🙁

  • David Anderson says:

    money is created as debt, meaning there will never be enough money in existence to pay off all debts. this is what requires converting relationships to services and natural resources to goods in ever-increasing proportions. this is all fixable: just stop creating money as debt (yeah right); but we can issue it transparently at the community level and use that instead in baby steps. kill creation as debt, and gone is the growth imperative.

  • This video is incorrectly blaming capitalism. This is the fault of our monetary system. Our fiat money is devalued at 5-6% annually, while inflation (CPI) is measured at 2-3%

    Our money grow/expands via new debt. (devaluing current monetary purchasing power) In order to maintain this 'growth' more and more new debts need to be issued, irregardless if income (hince asset bubbles). Inflation as measured by CPI is the increase in prices based on money floating-around not in assets aka Consumer Prices

    Plan B fixes this.

    Plan S: We should fix the system by implementing free everything for everyone.

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