The Limits on Economic Growth; What’s it Going to Be?
Growth in the market, it seems, can only be maintained according to the technological, geographical, environmental and sociological limits that the natural universe places upon it (especially if you’re aimed at survival and well being, as opposed to abstract notions of freedom, liberty and financial wealth). One path will lead to the satisfaction of our needs and leaves room for the potential of having more wants, the other places our immediate wants ahead of our needs and sacrifices both our needs and potential for growth in the process.
Marginal growth, as defined by the increase in profit greater than the previous marking period’s profits, is an unsustainable method of measuring success and is merely the logical conclusion of a brain type that has prioritized itself poorly, relative to the survival of the body that it is inhabiting. After all, you can’t eat freedom, nor do you drink liberty in order to survive. Money isn’t the good or service that enables you to survive, but merely a medium through which exchanges are conducted. It’s the goods and services themselves that have value; the money itself is just printed cloth and paper rags. Marginal growth is not something that can be maintained perpetually relative to common reality in which we live, and it may only be desirable in a certain number of instances and opportunities, while not desirable in others (again, from the perspective of maintaining human survival and increasing our collective and individual well being.
I don’t understand what is so difficult about accepting these concepts for some brains. Do they wish that their bodies were dead and unable to carry on their genetic material? That is the conclusion that their actions lead to on the tangible level of being, as opposed to the logical or abstract level that they seem to be living in. The brain types behind the ideology of Milton Friedman and Ayn Rand are apparently not fit for survival and pose a danger to themselves and a danger to others as a result of their actions, beliefs and “chosen” behaviors. They ignore the complex effects of the markets in the social and environmental worlds (that are needed for the mere presence of the economy, let alone the economy’s ability to thrive) and then disregard any way that the society, acting through a government, might be able to mitigate and preserve itself directly and indirectly through protecting the environment. How people, who are otherwise functional individuals, can come to these and other conclusions about themselves and the nature of their needs and desired wants is beyond my understanding. But what I do know, is that when these beliefs are influential in our world, and the small “self” is placed above the larger Self, which consists of the individual small “self” and the larger social and ecological context, the small self dies in the course of their actions and chosen decisions.
Therefore, Randians, neoclassicists and neoliberals are, I think, delusional individuals, who pose a danger to themselves and a danger to others, thanks to the involuntary actions and functionality of their brains, in spite of otherwise being functional individuals. To that end, they need to be placed in psychiatric care, or else play a highly marginalized role in the political debate surrounding economic policy at the very least. They neither accept nor wish to accept the inconsistencies and problems with their chosen ideologies, and do not deviate from that set course of self-destruction and death that they seem to be inclined to follow, and take the rest of us with them. We need to look at the economy as it is: a complex system of the exchange of goods and services, and place human needs over human greed, and other poorly chosen goals and priorities. We will either die for the sake of money and abstract concepts which may not exist on this plane of existence, or we will stop this nonsense and prioritize our survival and health over abstract notions of liberty and freedom and maybe, just maybe, create the conditions in our world where we ourselves, as individuals, may be able to achieve the brain states which give us the sensation of being free and happy for a sustained and consistent period throughout time and space, and the hose of conditions that will, most likely, be befalling us as we make our way to ends unknown, from origins obscure.
It’s time that we end the competitive economic debate, and instead, work in a collaborative fashion towards the common goal of survival first, and happiness second. Or else, we might as well all die off now, because that’s what we’d receive and deserve from our actions, perceptions, behaviors and attitudes.
Think about it.