Debate on Growth!

25.07.2011

Header of the new Boell-Blog on Growth and how it entered our minds.

Header of the new Boell-Blog on Growth and how it entered our minds.


As one of the first actions on my new job at the Boell Foundation in Berlin, Germany, I started an online-debate on growth. It is based not on economic data and all these old arguments, but circles around fundamental lifestyle- and human-behavior thoughts. This is based on an interesting Essay by Professor Welzer, a sociologist. Check it out (see below) and start debating. Most articles and comments so far are in German, but english contributions are welcome. I believe in a Web 2.0 in which English and German articles can coexist in the same format. So don’t shy away from this call!

Mental Infrastructures: How Growth Entered the World and Our Souls
By Harald Welzer

http://www.boell.de/images/Ecology-14-Mental-Infrastructures-284.png

In light of the recent ecological, financial and economic crisis, criticizing the all-powerful paradigm of economic growth is necessary. But growth as will and representation not only pervades corporate headquarters, stock exchanges and ministries, but also our heads. Material goods no longer serve just our basic needs for food, housing, health, education and vitality. Indeed, they shape our sense of belonging and identity. The idea of endless growth has been embedded in our emotional and cognitive lives since the
Industrial Revolution. Economic innovations won’t be sufficient to make economy and society sustainable. The essay of Harald Welzer is a piece of enlightenment at its best. It makes the mechanisms and principles distinct on which our ideals and wishes are based, and clears the way for change.
Download (PDF)

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