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Why We Have To Give Up On Endless Economic Growth

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The system of capitalist inequality reproduces itself through producing scarce and unattainable luxuries which the lower classes then attain to secure, but the moment they secure them they are new scarce, and unattainable luxuries that are being placed before them, too. So they have to stay on the treadmill. It's like the lottery, it's not a game you can win at. It's not a good use of your time to aspire to a life of opulence and wealth. And as we know from a million of scandal and true crime documentaries, these are mostly pretty miserable people. They are miserable to each other, they are miserable to their own. You know, Bill Gates, working twenty hours a day despite owning more money and resources than entire countries, that is, to me, just not a paradigm to be championed. This is just a guy who is working himself to death. So, again, to go back to this idea what a degrowth ethics looks like: here's the good thing about technology. Technology has advanced to a stage where human beings have to work a lot less to work safely and live comfortably, more than at any time in human history. And that is what we should use this technology for.

Interview with anthropologist Dominic Boyer on his Noema Magazine article Why We Have To Give Up On Endless Economic Growth.

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Guest

Dominic Boyer

Dominic Boyer is an American-born cultural anthropologist, writer, filmmaker and podcaster whose work focuses on relationships between energy and environment, media and politics. He is Professor of Anthropology at Rice University, where he served from 2013 to 2019 as the Founding Director of its Center for Energy and Environmental Research in the Human Sciences (CENHS).

 

Dominic Boyer's Personal Site

 

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