Home > Uncategorized > The Myth of Unlimited Growth

The Myth of Unlimited Growth

What is a disease in which otherwise healthy cells display uncontrollable growth, invading other tissues, and spreading to other parts of the organism?

The answer, of course, is….
                                    cancer.

If we think of society as a living organism, the answer could perhaps just as easily be…
                                    corporations, banks, the economy.

In many cases, each of these act on the premise that unlimited growth is both possible and desirable.  In fact, many base their existence on the premise that continued growth is the most likely outcome of business as usual.

In my Facebook Profile, I say that "Growth is an illusion. Inherently unsustainable, in all things, growth is always complemented by shrinkage." In natural systems, this is an infallible truth.  All living things die and all waste is food for another organism.  But we humans have learned to create things which cannot, in life-sized scales, be destroyed.  Our ever-expanding population and societies fueled by "unlimited" growth and the production of waste as a desirable objective threatens our livelihood on this planet.  Yet, rather than seeking to reorganize our priorities so that our societies are more sustainable, some of us seek to expand our search for resources and fuel to other planets or at least to offload our most noxious waste off our own world.

We humans have become, in a word, cancerous.  We need to start to envision a world in which incessant growth is not a desirable objective.  We need to start to think about the benefits of getting smaller, using less, and making do with fewer things.  We need to plan to give back what we take, perhaps, even, giving back a little more with the hope that someday it will come back to our children.  We need to envision our companies, communities, and countries as though there is going to be a tomorrow, rather than trying to get as much as we can today.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. IDisstupid
    December 2, 2010 at 5:22 AM

    If we think of society as a living organism, the answer could perhaps just as easily be…corporations, banks, the economy…

  2. Michael Kato
    December 2, 2010 at 8:43 AM

    @IDisstupid:I’m not sure what you’re trying to say or ask… What I meant by this is rather simple: Corporations, banks, and the economy today have become plagues like cancer. Their growth, intended as a means of providing well-being to our societies, have instead become a means of inhibiting social health.

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