Impossible hamster

However you need a way of providing prosperity without wrecking the planet, whenever I hear the phrase ‘blind capitalist accumulation’ I reach for my Elinor Ostrom….not convinced that many of the critics of growth have much of an idea of the basic framework of an alternative economic system.

Elinor Ostrom is the whole of the law!

Cross-posted from Another Green World


  1. That’s true– and not only among environmentalists but also in the social justice camp. Some folks I work with speak of “Buddhist” economics as an alternative to capitalism, and liberation theology also contains economic elements. But none of them can do the math.

    For that reason, I was thrilled to find Herman Daly, former World Bank economist, who shows us where the conventional economic math is absurd because it presumes no limits– and because it includes waste in its calculation of production.

    When someone starts pushing economic approaches, be they tax cuts, right to work, or no-growth, I always ask to see the math. They rarely have it. But the math CAN be done.

  2. Physics, is everything, everything is physics. So as a body at rest remains at rest until influenced by external force to motion, and as a body in motion remains in motion until influenced by external force to rest… growth, in and of itself is a perpetual motion machine – a beast feeding upon itself – bound to failure unless influenced by external force to change. Grasp of a lack of alternative is no detriment to recognition of failure.

    We as a world have reached a saturation point, we’ve grown to big not to fail. An alternative, The Alternative, will necessarily evolve out of the multiple crisis of failure we face, and though wheels coming off implies momentum and momentum implies a certain degree of anticipation where the wheels will go, there’s really no way to anticipate who or what we will be on the other side of these crisis.

    Of note, Mother Nature is a harsh mistress, with little, if any, regard for the fleas that agitate her hide. These crisis physical, financial and ‘spiritual’ know no equality. New York and New Orleans are as likely to flood as Bangkok and Singapore; the lack of water in the ‘American’ southwest is as likely to fire a migration as a repeat of The Little Atlantic Ice Age of ten thousand years ago, or the loss of Himalayan glaciers watering however many billions of people across Asia. Survival isn’t assured of even the best of prepared.

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