Friday, November 1, 2013

Sustainable economic growth

Related to the last post, in this post and following one issue was Rifkin possibly maintaining the current economic growth paradigm within his third industrial revolution. Rifkin's post here on The Empathic Civilization though discusses the consciousness shift that makes such unsustainable growth anathema. This goes with the last post, where societies that value social democracy and the environment are more likely to also value sustainable economic growth with less consumption. For example (with my emphasis):

"Surveys show that the millennial generation in the United States is much more likely than older generations to feel empathy for others. They are far more concerned with the planetary environment and climate change and more likely to favor sustainable economic growth. They are also more likely to believe that government has a responsibility to take care of people who can’t care for themselves, and are more supportive of a bigger role of government in providing basic services. They are more supportive of globalization and immigration than older generations. They are also more racially diverse and the most tolerant of any generation in history in support of gender equality and the willingness to champion the rights of the disabled, gays, other minorities, as well as our fellow creatures. In short, they favor a world of inclusivity over exclusivity, and are more comfortable in distributed networks than in old fashioned centralized hierarchies that establish boundaries and restrictions separating people from one another.

"The new sensibilities of the younger generation are beginning to usher in a different idea about human nature and the dream that accompanies it. Today’s youth find little value in the Enlightenment caricature of human nature as rational, calculating, detached, and utilitarian. They prefer to think of human nature as empathic, mindful, engaged, and driven by the intrinsic value and interconnectedness of life. Homo sapien is being eclipsed by homo empathicus, as they shift their horizon from national markets and nation-state borders to a global economy and a planetary community. Even their preferred indicators of economic progress are shifting, from the crude calculation of gross domestic product and per-capita income to more sensitive social indicators — like health and longevity, social equality, safe communities, clean environment, etc. — that measure the well-being of the broader community."

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