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Growth is the Enemy of Humankind

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(Article changed on January 16, 2013 at 18:14)

By Dave Lindorff


Unbridled growth is now a malevolent force by ThisCantBeHappening!

What is wrong with America?

Big question.

Simple answer.

We Americans have completely lost any sense of why a country, a society, and a government exist.

Politicians, lobbyists and corporate media talking heads, and far too many ordinary people, have accepted and are promoting as gospel the circular notion that it's important to encourage business to grow so that people will be hired and the economy can grow.  This specious argument is used to justify the weakening labor unions, the raising of taxes on workers while they are cut for companies and the rich, the cutting of earned benefit programs like Social Security and Medicare, the gutting worker safety and environmental safety regulations, and the elimination of regulation of activities like banking, corporate mergers and takeovers, pharmaceutical companies etc. In fact every government action that results in making life harder or more dangerous for ordinary working people or for the poor is defended on the basis that it is necessary so that business can make more profit and help the economy to grow.

Growing the economy, however, is not, or certainly should not, be the reason we have government, the reason we are a country, or the reason we are a society.

The Declaration of Independence had it right when, in its inspiring preamble, it aroused a nation of rebels by espousing the inalienable rights of  "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Period.

And growth today poses a direct threat to all three of those stated goals.

Growth in all its aspects -- economic growth, growth in profits, growth in sales, growth of population, growth in income - is a threat to life. It has become clear that the imperative of ever more growth, the ethos and driving force of modern corporate capitalism, is leading to the destruction of the very biosphere that sustains life on this planet. It is a threat to liberty, too, because one country's growth -- America's -- requires the constant assault on those weaker countries that threaten us. The globe is a finite place, and at this point, with seven billion people crowded upon it, for one group -- that is to say 313 million Americans -- to prosper and grow, requires that 6.7 billion others give up something. In other words, for America to grow, it must be in a constant state of imperial domination and war, which also means a state of war at home, with all the concomitant restrictions on freedom that state inevitably entails. 

For decades or longer even, there has been a carefully maintained American myth that the growth of global capitalism in general and of this country's capitalist system in particular has been only beneficial to mankind, really with no downside, but that has been a lie...

For the rest of this article by DAVE LINDORFF in ThisCantBeHappening!, the new independent Project Censored Award-winning online alternative newspaper, please go to:   www.thiscantbehappening.net/node/1526

 

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of the collectively-owned, journalist-run online newspaper www.thiscantbehappening.net. He is a columnist for Counterpunch, is author of several recent books ("This Can't Be Happening! Resisting the (more...)
 
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 I know I have been reading some of your arti... by Ad Du on Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 4:43:53 PM
 You mention global warming, but how do you ... by Ad Du on Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 5:25:55 PM
The species is biting its own tail, so to speak; h... by molly cruz on Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 9:02:26 PM