Growth Fetish

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Allen & Unwin, 2003 - Business & Economics - 262 pages
On both left and right, all major political parties in the Western world share the same belief: the first objective of government should be to raise the rate of economic growth. Hamilton shows how the feverish pursuit of economic growth has been used to justify the radical transformation of government, work and leisure.
 

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Contents

Growth fetishism
1
Economists on wellbeing
7
The great contradiction
14
Political implications
17
Growth and wellbeing
22
Personal happiness
33
Values and meaning
46
Alternative measures
54
Power and equality
139
Work
147
The new labour market
154
In praise of housework
164
Work in a postgrowth world
170
Environment
174
The conquering spirit
184
A philosophical transition
191

Identity
62
Consumption and the modern self
66
Marketing
79
Overconsumption
92
Progress
98
Oppression and liberation
103
Globalisation
116
Politics
122
The power of economic ideas
133
Environmentalism and social democracy
197
The postgrowth society
205
the politics of happiness
209
Starting the transition
217
The postgrowth economy
223
Power and social structure
232
Notes
241
Index
256
Copyright

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Page 109 - All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses his real conditions of life and his relations with his kind.
Page 223 - It is scarcely necessary to remark that a stationary condition of capital and population implies no stationary state of human improvement. There would be as much scope as ever for all kinds of mental culture, and moral and social progress; as much room for improving the Art of Living, and much more likelihood of its being improved, when minds ceased to be engrossed by the art of getting on.
Page 9 - I confess I am not charmed with the ideal of life held out by those who think that the normal state of human beings is that of struggling to get on...
Page 100 - Men make their own history, but they do not make it just as they please; they do not make it under circumstances chosen by themselves, but under circumstances directly encountered, given and transmitted from the past.
Page 9 - But the best state for human nature is that in which, while no one is poor, no one desires to be richer, nor has any reason to fear being thrust back by the efforts of others to push themselves forward.
Page 68 - Thus much of this will make black white, foul fair, Wrong right, base noble, old young, coward valiant. Ha, you gods! why this? what this, you gods? Why, this Will lug your priests and servants from your sides, Pluck stout men's pillows from below their heads...
Page 225 - The strenuous purposeful money-makers may carry all of us along with them into the lap of economic abundance. But it will be those peoples, who can keep alive, and cultivate into a fuller perfection, the art of life itself and do not sell themselves for the means of life, who will be able to enjoy the abundance when it comes.
Page 79 - A population may be too crowded, though all be amply supplied with food and raiment. It is not good for man to be kept perforce at all times in the presence of his species.

About the author (2003)

Clive Hamilton is Executive Director of The Australia Institute, Australia's foremost public interest think tank. Trained in economics and politics, he also holds academic positions at the Australian National University and the University of Technology Sydney.

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