Punish Growth, Reward Balance
"Society must cease to look upon "progress" as something desirable. 'Eternal Progress’ is a nonsensical myth. What must be implemented is not a 'steadily expanding economy,’ but a zero growth economy, a stable economy. Economic growth is not only unnecessary but ruinous."2
Alexander I. Solzhenitsyn
The dominant philosophy and motivating social force of our era is clearly economic. No other values so determine our fate today as do capital-defined notions of growth, profit, and efficiency.
Under these narrow and material rubrics we are to appraise and measure virtually all human activity, relationship, and end purpose. Worship of an ill-measured "growth" has naturally lead to an ideology of growthism - within which we now devalue and subordinate every other reason for living and being.
No other rationale so prevails and undermines consideration of other elements and purposes of life, and nature’s own equations, as does the goal of "economic growth." In effect, economists and politicians seem to know no other objective, and no other ideation comes close to "growth" in demanding a social supremacy and utilitarian right to define and order our lives.
In any case, what is referred to as "economic growth" consists of two elements - i.e., one part productivity increase and one part population increase. However, only productivity and technological advance may constitute real growth, whereas population expansion means a perpetual decline of our per-capita earthly space and per-capita resources.
Until we distinguish between real productivity and per-capita declines emerging from population growth, no true progress can be formulated, attained, or sustained, and we will continue to suffer population-driven, per-capita, takings. As the sine qua non of capital-controlled societies, "growth" has become both infallible ideal and secular ideology. It is a quasi-religious notion complete with its own church, high priests, and catechisms free of need for any earthly proofs.
As with other monomanias, growthism admits of no uncertainty or inherent bias. Further, growthism not only hides the facts of enclosure and labor’s loss of natural freedom, but fails to acknowledge any reason or necessity for balance in society or nature. Like other faiths, growthism is to be swallowed whole and simply internalized as truth. Whether or not a majority desire capital’s dismal "growth" matters little where so many have lost their natural freedom, effective democracy, and any alternative to this mindless course.
This concern with "economics" to the exclusion of all other areas of life is also a reflection of our disparate estates - i.e., of the anxiety-ridden dependency of landless majorities and fear of ruling classes. Bondage in "growth" schemes stems not only from disenfranchisement, dependency, and reproductive irresponsibility but also from enclosures of language and meaning as well.
For example, the word "economic" is routinely followed today, in perfect pavlovian cadence,- by the word "growth" - as if the two were inextricably synonymous. In this way a state of Balance is effectively locked out of any relation to our definitions of economy and progress. As if fearing utterance of a great blasphemy, we seldom hear the words "economic balance" pass the lips of capital’s economists.
As a result, a nebulous and assumed-to-be-salutary More imprisons the very definition of economy. The ancient art and science of salutary social organization, and maintenance of a happy, human, existence, has shrunk to an obsession with numbers, to their endless increase, and studied avoidance of any meaningful, per-capita, measures or spiritual values. Dismal indeed is the modern definition of "growth" and "economy" - i.e., a classic art and study once dedicated to living in balance with nature.
When "economy" and "growth" are uttered in such lock-step fashion, economics becomes growth, and growth economics. Within this tautology any implementation of balance is seen as anti-growth, and anti-economic. As a result balance is presumed to be undesirable despite the fact "growth" as we know it is destroying society, nature, per-capita wealth, communal freedom, and democracy.
In the nature of this religio-economic dogma, "growth" is never to stop, and no limits is its credo. For capital’s sake, growth must proceed despite the fact it may be unwanted by a majority and is, in fact, generating social friction, per-capita ruin, and ecological disaster. Nevertheless, given capital’s social supremacy, growth is never seen as the problem but, instead, is continually offered up as the only solution to every ill of our corrupt economies and degenerating environments.
Economics remains then, at best, a half-brained ideology missing essential concepts of factor and population balance, feminine values, qualitative measures, and right relation to nature’s sinks and capacities. The very language of growthism also reveals a male-defined drive for dominance - wherein we speak of "expanding" and "penetrating" markets and "dominating" the resources of other nations and people.
Growthists speak of forcing open markets with the same cunning, and sense of divine right, as those who once spread the legs of virgins to make bloody sacrifices to male gods upon a cold stone slab. The rise of this inherently self-defeating "economic" philosophy and its increasingly dismal social conditions emerges from enclosure, factor imbalance, and the unnatural ways in which we have come to live and work.