Come On! Capitalism, Short-termism, Population and the Destruction of the Planet – A Report to the Club of Rome

18.05.2018 von Quester67 | 0 Kommentare | Permalink

This article offers a critique of, rather than a review of, this, 50th anniversary, report to the Club of Rome. The authors claim to recognise the need to radically change our way of life if we are to survive as a species. But it is not at all clear that they realise just how radical that change needs to be. One might say that their position, like that of Bruntland, is really that, with a few tweaks, we can continue to live much as we do now. And, like Bruntland and many others, they seem to believe that the necessary changes can be achieved by cumulating ad-hoc small changes. Unfortunately, virtually all such innovations have, in the past, been eliminated by a seemingly inexorable onward march of hierarchy. The position taken in this article is that the way forward, if it exists, is to be found by extending the Systems Dynamics Modelling work undertaken by the authors of Limits to Growth to include mapping the networks of social forces which control the inputs to the network of biological, physical, and economic processes they mapped and then considering the governance (socio-cybernetic systems) that are required to promote the evolution of a very different system. To facilitate this discussion, a large section of this article is devoted to providing more information about what lies behind the projections made in Limits to Growth than is included in the book and then illustrating how that work could be extended. Another large section of this article critiques Weizsacker et al’s treatment of the workings of the financial system and the consequently misleading nature of discussions conducted using such terms as “capitalism” and “debt” in an unexamined way.

Key words: Systems Dynamics Modelling; Financialisation; Debt; Fictitious Money; Capitalism; Ecological Footprint; Governance; Wealth; Public servant; Neo-liberalism; Social Darwinism; Market process.

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Quester67

Quester67

old guy who has been involved in policy relevant research for 60 years.

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Macht, Umwelt, Wissenschaft