Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Growth is Good? (Macrobusiness)

Growth: the false god

If a team of interplanetary anthropologists (the phrase is an oxymoron, but we have none better) were to descend to earth in their spacecraft they would notice that, like some distant tribe who worships a panther’s claw, a voodoo mask or the gnarled roots of an ancient tree, the human race has a strange fetish for growth.

Whereas past civilisations built their pyramids to gods who brought rain, or made the rivers flow, in ours we shop. The temple is the air-conditioned mall, where we occasionally have lunch on small rolls of tuna and rice – a tasty mix of the endangered and the engineered – before maxing out the credit card for clothes we don’t need to impress people we hate. Those extra-terrestrial anthropologists would think, wouldn’t they, that ours was a society headed for self-imposed destruction, like the stone head builders of Easter Island or the Vikings in medieval Greenland.


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