Tim Jackson’s book about post-growth economics is deeply inspiring. The description of “the iron cage of consumerism” and our growth-based economic models that have lead to instability, inequality and the exploitation of our natural resources is striking. It’s time we can imagine and enact alternative visions to this model.
The people who are cray enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do. Steve Jobs, 1998
Jackson makes a case for flourishing societies and their ability to prosper beyond the accumulation of material. This includes life, bodily health, but also integrity, affiliation, play and control over ones time and wellbeing. This requires us to design an economy that is not only output and debt oriented. I feel the concept of “flourishing” and “prosperity” provides new avenues for creative thinking about quality of life in general.
The belief that economic growth can be detached from destruction appears to be based on a simple accounting mistake. George Monbiot, 2015
Jackson also makes a good point why the theory of “decoupling” economic growth from natural resource use and carbon emissions is challenged with current macroeconomic data. Specifically, the absolute decoupling of resources from GDP growth would need to come down by a factor of 200x if we want to meet the UN. carbon targets.
Overall, a great read for everybody interested in alternative futures.