GDP en de (economische) groei waan

Hans V. heeft op Cassandraclub een mooi verhaal geschreven over oneconomische groei. Echt een aanrader! (einde update)

Drie artikelen waarbij kritische kanttekening geplaatst worden bij het streven naar economische groei.

Het gelinkte artikel is een voorbeeld van de ‘Deep ecology filosofie.
Klik op deze regel om artikel over groei waan te openen.

GDP attained global domination precisely because it appeared to avoid value judgments about purposes, directions and consequences of economic activities. Its mantra was simple: ‘More is better’.

Een artikel uit de hand van Kurt Cobb:
Klik op deze regel om artikel te openen.

If we follow Herman Daly’s logic, we have long since passed the point of economic growth and now have “uneconomic growth,” growth that imposes costs greater than the growth is worth: social costs in terms of inequality and environmental costs that undermine the long-term sustainability of human society.
So, who benefits from such growth? We now have a name for this group, the one percent. Those with the highest incomes and greatest financial wealth continue to benefit from such growth since they can both reap disproportionate rewards from it and insulate themselves from the costs associated with it–leaving others to bear them.

Tot slot een gepeperd artikel waarin een historisch overzicht van vrij vertaald ‘de groen kapitalisme beweging’. De auteur plaatst zeer kritische kanttekeningen bij het kapitalisme deel van ‘groen kapitalisme’.
In mijn ogen een aanrader, met name vanaf deel II: DELUSIONS OF “NATURAL CAPITALISM”
Niet dat ik het op alle punten eens ben met de schrijven (focus ligt met name op klimaat), maar in de onderliggende gedachtegang kan ik me wel vinden.

Paul Hawken was right: We need a “restorative economy,” an economy that lives within nature’s limits, that minimizes and even eliminates waste from production, and so on. But he was completely wrong to imagine that we could ever get this under capitalism.

1. First, the project of “sustainable” “green” capitalism was misconceived and doomed from the start because maximizing profit and saving the planet are inherently in conflict and cannot be systematically aligned even if, here and there, they might coincide for a moment. That’s because, under capitalism, CEOs and corporate boards are not responsible to society; they’re responsible to private owners and shareholders. CEOs might embrace environmentalism so long as this also increases profits, but they’re not free to subordinate profit maximizing to saving the world – because to do so would be to risk shareholder flight or worse. I claim that profit-maximization is an iron rule of capitalism, a rule that trumps all else and sets the possibilities and limits of ecological reform – and not the other way around, as green capitalism theorists suppose.

3. Third, green capitalism enthusiasts vastly underestimate the gravity, scope and speed of the global ecological collapse we face and thus unrealistically imagine that growth can continue forever if we just tweak the incentives and penalties a bit here and there with green taxes and such. But the capitalist market system is inherently eco-suicidal. Endless growth can end only in catastrophic eco-collapse. No amount of tinkering can alter the market system’s suicidal trajectory. Therefore, like it or not, humanity has no choice but to try to find a way to replace capitalism with some kind of post-capitalist ecologically sustainable economy.

4. Fourth, green capitalism theorists grossly overestimate the potential of “clean green” production and “dematerializing” the economy, whereas, in reality, much if not most, of the economy – from resource extraction like mining and drilling to metals smelting and chemicals production – as well as most manufacturing and many services cannot be greened in any meaningful sense at all. This means that the only way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the 80 percent that scientists say we need to do to save the humans, is to enforce a drastic contraction of production in the industrialized countries, especially in the most polluting and wasteful sectors. Most industries will have to be sharply retrenched. Some, the very worst polluting and wasteful, will have to be closed entirely. Because, under capitalism, industries can’t be expected to voluntarily commit economic suicide, even to save the humans, the only way to carry out these necessary contractions and closures is to nationalize industry and socialize the losses, redeploy labor to sectors society does actually need to develop, like renewable energy, public transit, decent housing for all and so on and shorten the working day to spread the remaining work around.

Fifth, consumerism and overconsumption are not “dispensable” and cannot be exorcised because they’re not just “cultural” or “habitual.” They are built into capitalism and indispensable for the day-to-day reproduction of corporate producers in a competitive market system in which capitalists, workers, consumers and governments alike are dependent upon an endless cycle of perpetually increasing consumption to maintain profits, jobs and tax revenues. We can’t shop our way to sustainability because the problems we face cannot be solved by individual choices in the marketplace. The global ecological crisis we face cannot be solved by even the largest individual companies. Problems such as global warming, overfishing and ocean chemistry are beyond the scope of nation states. They require national and international economic planning. That requires collective bottom-up democratic control over the entire world economy. And because global economic democracy could thrive only in the context of rough economic equality, this presupposes a global redistribution of wealth as well.


Over paradoxnl

Man, 54 jaar, Nederland.
Dit bericht werd geplaatst in Uncategorized. Bookmark de permalink .

3 reacties op GDP en de (economische) groei waan

  1. Hans Verbeek zegt:

    Bedankt voor je samenvatting, Paradox. Ik ga de originele artikelen zeker lezen.
    Ik vind de term “uneconomic growth”, ofwel oneconomische groei, erg goed gevonden.

    Kun je ook de link naar het 3e artikel geven?

    • paradoxnl zegt:


      Ik had hetzelfde…toen ik de term ‘uneconomic growth’ las, dacht ik …dat is een goede samenvatting van onze huidige economische groei, namelijk dat er een heleboel niet meegetelde (verborgen) kosten [kosten in de vorm van milieuvervuiling, schade aan gezondheid, noem maar op…] regelmatig afgewenteld worden op de rest (meestal het armere deel) van de bevolking.
      De armere lokale bevolking draait m.i. op voor de verborgen kosten. Dat de verborgen kosten van een heleboel economische activiteiten hoger zijn dan de in BBP termen uitgedrukte extra groei.

      Ik zie nu pas dat ik vergeten was de link naar het originele artikel mee te geven:

  2. Pingback: Economie in wurggreep door combinatie van duur winbare energie, hoge schuldenberg en te geringe koopkracht | Paradoxnl's Blog

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