Posted 11 months ago on Sept. 15, 2013, 12:07 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt (1) from Plainfield, NJ
Evidence shows its very clear we have reached the safe limits to growth in terms of the most pressing threat to human civilisation – that of a stable atmosphere.
Therefore, until we can find a way to decouple growth from carbon emissions and reach that mythical "dematerialised" economy, restarting global economic growth seems a dangerous folly. But what might the implications of this be for capitalism? Limits to growth and their implications for capitalism
It's generally agreed that capitalism has three key principles; the majority of "the means of production" (land, resources, capital) are concentrated in private hands; the majority of us work for a wage (ie for other people); and markets are used to mediate between producer and consumer (set prices, etc).
I've blogged elsewhere about the problems of the first two, not least of which is an addiction to growth. Put simply, it seems that capitalism cannot be compatible with continued exponential growth on a finite planet. As Tim Jackson has said, "Simplistic assumptions about capitalism's propensity for efficiency are nothing short of delusional. A different kind of economics is needed."
In any case, its no longer heresy to point out that capitalism has serious flaws. Indeed, mainstream commentators are questioning growth-obsessed capitalist economics and calling up Karl Marx from his grave.
Both Marx on the left and Schumpeter on the right long ago predicted the end of capitalism. And recently fund manager Jeremy Grantham said: "Capitalism… is totally ill-equipped to deal with a small handful of issues. Unfortunately, they are the issues that are absolutely central to our long-term wellbeing and even survival."