*This post was originally written by me on the actualized.org forum*
My belief is that real economic growth is no longer possible or socially desirable.
In the past, it was possible. The human race and our impact on the world was relatively small. We had room to grow.
As such, we developed systems that encourage and depend on economic growth.
Now though, those same systems and beliefs are causing problems.
Essentially, both the earth and human relationships can't sustain it. A 2% annual increase in GDP, which is what many countries shoot for, compounds to unsustainable exponential growth very quickly.
Earth can't sustain what we're doing because there's only so many natural "resources". And I'm not just talking about greenhouse gases and fossil fuels, that's only the tip of iceberg of ecological destruction that's happening.
Human relationships can't sustain it because our lives have already become thoroughly commodified. There are no almost no human experiences left to turn into a product on the market. The result is a destruction of relationships and community, as both rely on non-transactional exchanges to really thrive.
As we hit these limits, our growth dependent systems start to breakdown. You have to artificially stimulate growth with things like war in order for it to keep going.
So we're at this impasse where if we stop growing, everything collapses. But if we keep going, that will also be a disaster.
The only solution I see is to consciously transition out of growth-dependency.