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It Grows Before It Dies

May 21, 2007

I’ll propose something that will drive half of my readers away for a few minutes (at least). After that, they’ll hopefully be back to call me names. So, here it is:
What if what is firstly needed is not to make the poor countries richer but to make the rich countries poorer?

Well, apparently you’re back if you’re still reading this. So, let me rephrase it in a way less flashy but more meaningful. I believe that western way of living and its driving force, the free market’s everlasting growth, simply are a suicide for us all.

Now let me clarify a bit. As long as I remember myself, economy and politics both nationally and globally were about growth. And growth there was indeed. I can see it at national level (even for a lightly industrial country like Greece) and I can hear of it at a global level. Production skyrockets, commerce skyrockets too under the blessings of free market [1]. Consequently purchasing options just boomed. I can now drink as much fucking coffee I want at a ridiculous price even though this coffee was made a thousand miles away from me. Somebody there was paid little enough according to her standards (or her viable options) to crop the coffee grains. Little enough to even outbalance the cost of carrying tonnes of it from the other side of the world to the supermarket chain under my home in Athens, Greece. This supermarket chain by the way had the means to consistently sell coffee for under cost for months until all other local mini markets in area bailed out. After that, coffee cost a little more than during the market war but still little enough to be affordable for guys like me.

Anyway I hear wise financial analyzers say that GDP for many developing countries are growing. Economies grow. Production grows. Everything grows at a pace faster than the hair of all of us combined. WE GROW. Which means that the production-consuming-dumbing cycle is getting faster and bigger. Free market/economy fans see an ever unraveling dream and have even declared that this whole thing makes the poor richer. Just feed any search engine with “poor getting richer” and you’ll have many links to costumed smiling guys and ladies eager to declare left moaning obsolete [2][3] – yet moaning left once more is moaning about bugs in the process of getting these numbers [4] but let’s just fuck them both now ’cause right now I’m deadly considered with a remark firstly made by -ha ha- guess who, the infamous ecologists. Amongst tulips of joint -the hippiest ones- or with a serious leftist banner as background they have long declared the unthinkable: “Earth is finite”.

Gee, man. What a bust in the balls. Shit! Like spending all your money to get your fantasy man/woman to dinner only to discover that he/she is married and determined to stay faithful.

Yes. It’s finite. Simply put, not all people under the sun can live like westerners if we -as a species- are to last for more than a few generations yet. There simply is not enough oil [5][6]. Renewables energy resources can’t give that much. Nuclear sources are also finite. Climate IS fucking changing. We got more and more crazy by living in a system that puts us constantly in one to one antagonism. Water sources are being polluted. Et cetera…

…But see what you’ve done? I’m grumbling and moaning again like the left. Shit.

Anyway. I just hope I’ll have enough coffee to drink and a nice view to see world collapsing. Hey, after all I was born and raised in Capitalism. Fair to go down with it.

capitalism_mug.jpg

Notes/Credits/Etc:

[1] Wages (or their purchasing power if you prefer) are diving – or so does mine at least, but leave that aside for now.

[2] Just a sample google search here

[3] By the way, I don’t know whether free market creates new jobs but left criticism certainly does. It gives those writers endless working hours trying to prove that left is moaning with no good reason.

[4] George Monbiot has a very good article about the flaws on the claim that “poor getting richer” here.

[5] See The Limits To Growth Analysis for a very thorough critic on a fundamental pillar of free market thinking.

[6] In fact many claim that we have allready passed the peak-oil point which is a very kinky end-of-world scenario. See here for more.

[7] This article was the source of inspiration for this post. I agree on everything it says but the proposed solution (a form of sustainable no-growth capitalism). Anyway I found it to be a great critique.

[8] Image found here.

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5 comments

  1. i’m not an economist, but it seems to me that there is no unlimited amount of capital (money) – if you print more of it, it will lose it’s value… this world we are living in is made only for europe and it’s daughter countries like the states, not for the entire population of our beautiful planet… rich countries will have to get more modest… europe is to be considered guilty for imposing our way of life to the rest of the world (which had lived more than less happily before the colonists). it is our duty to correct our mistakes and to save the rest of the world from despair we have pushed it into…


  2. I agree with your views – not entirely, but in some respect.

    I think we will have to become porer in order to become richer.

    And we as westerners will have to take the lead, since we´re the ones who´ve been exploiting the planet the most.

    It will be very expensive to change our economies from exploiting and growth-dependend ones into sustainable ones. And I´m ready to pay my part of the bill.

    And I will call you names, Zero-Growth 🙂


  3. @ Dule: Neither I am an economist dear Dule but the equation you describe seems very reasonable to me. I believe that there is enough for everyone (as long as some limits on population growth are in place) to live a perfect life on this planet. And I, too, believe that the so called advanced countries created this mess and they have to lead the way out of it.

    @ Allan: “I think we will have to become poorer in order to become richer.” I couldn’t have said it better than that :). Bill? What bill? Oh, my God. Will I have to pay too?! Again? No, no. Give the bill to the rich ones.

    Zero-Growth? Hey, I like that one 🙂


  4. http://pressposts.com/Religion/It-Grows-Before-It-Dies/

    Submited post on PressPosts.com – “It Grows Before It Dies”


  5. Well, thank you Mr (or Ms) Romeo6666 (Gee man, even anticrist reads me – OK – kidding).

    Nevertheless I’d say that this post shouldn’t fall under the Religion category.



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