Tuesday, January 29

does cancerous growth equal an act of conspiracy?

It must be a myth of wishful and unrealistic thinking that unlimited growth and continuous overspilled consumption is the sustainable and driving factor in a economy that seems to be based solely on short term projections and personal margin profits.
As a tree grows, there will be limits to its height and size depending on species and location, soil consistency etc. There is no oak or pine tree that grew three miles high to my knowledge. And even if it could, that still would give a precise determined limit.

(image by unknown artist, stolen from the web)

Why is it then, that both politicians and economists alike expect the growth of global and national economies to grow forever, that companies expect higher yields every quarter?
This is like expecting the oak or pine tree to grow in hight forever, perhaps to the moon and beyond.
It seems to me, that there is something fundamentally wrong with this concept. It does not take in consideration that there are natural limits to expansion of any kind, with the exception of perhaps spiritual growth, which is not dependent on matter at all.
An average company expects to gain profit revenues of about 20% annually, or 5% for a quarter. In other words, the production output will have to increase in a continuous upward spiral. Does this "free-western-marked" model really work? Do common people become more and more prosperous by it?
No, except for a chosen few (within their lifetime).
And then there is this an other factor. Quite a few so called Western Industrialized countries experience lesser growth in birth rates compared to their larger increase in death rates. In other words, their population is declining.
So it makes absolutely no sense to expect 20% more Colgate toothpastes to be sold year after year in Switzerland while both the glaciers and the population is diminishing - unless of course you use that very paste for graffiti on some sidewalks, solid, until the next rain washes it all away or you use the glaciers moisture for artificial tears.

The long and winding point I am trying to make:
There are limits to physical growth! How come people pretend and snuggle into their minds that this illusion of endless growth is for real? This is too much for me truthfully to comprehend.
Is humanity ... ? Ah, forget that sentence.

Small is not beautiful, big is not beautiful. Proportionate on the other hand rules!
Call me an aesthetic pragmatist - I don't care if you do ...


Cym the Mystic Poet said...

"Why is it then, that both politicians and economists alike expect the growth of global and national economies to grow forever?"


Two words: psychopathic insanity.

The concept of unlimited growth is a fiction, an illusion, a symptom of delusional thinking. Anyone who expects growth to occur forever unabated, is certainly not playing with a full deck of cards. [Insert the politician, economist, or businessman's name of your choice here.] The only entity found in nature that I know of that functions according to the principle of unlimited growth and consumption, is a disease pathogen, like a Cancer, or a parasite; but what happens to the parasite when there is nothing left to consume? The parasite consumes its host and ultimately it consumes itself.

In any case, the outcome of unlimited growth is death, destruction, and system collapse.

Zee said...

Your contribution inspired me to change the the wordings of the title of this post!

Cym the Mystic Poet said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gary said...

Hey, you're an aethetic pragmatist! I like that.

Cancer cells are cells that have forgotten their genetic code and go wild, multiplying until they destroy the very organism that allows them to survive - they die too. Sound familiar? One theory is that if we could only remember our genetic code (we are part of the universe and all life is connected) we might have a chance to stop being the cancer that destroys itself.

susan said...

You're right. Resources are limited and must be managed wisely but we are creatures who emerged from the savannahs with voracious appetites. Our ancestors were hunted by predators, became better killers and turned on each other. It's only gotten worse.
I'm feeling a bit hopeless this evening. There are indeed a lot of wonderful, caring people in the world but they don't often get to run the corporations and governments.

_z. said...

because humans keep on raising the limits and the standards according to their greed, under the cloak of inflation... nature knows better.

Jim said...

We fell into a trap with the advent of agriculture, a technology which allowed us to greatly expand our numbers, and which led to privatization of land & the exploitation of humans for labor.

Then the Age Of Oil came along and allowed us to exponentially increase our numbers six-fold in two-hundred years.

We became addicted to all this convenience, comfort, and wealth and addicts always conspire to feed their addictions.

We are a civilization blinded by our own cleverness. Made needy by our obsessive self-absorption with the elitist notion of divine intervention and immortality which we believe separates our narcissistic species from the rest of nature.

And yes, we have become like a cancerous tumor infecting the earth.

Can we change?

Who knows?

We'll have to leave that question for any descendents who might survive the inevitable CRASH this absurdly overpopulated and ridiculously unsustainable civilization faces.

If we can't learn to live within the laws of nature; to keep our population in check; to stop appropriating the habitat of every other species we share the planet with; then we will simply become one of the shortest lived species in the history of the evolution of life on earth.

No biggy, 99.9% of all species which ever existed here have already preceded us into extinction.

I think it's our fear of death that makes us so insecure as to want to be the rulers of the world, the Masters Of The Universe.

But it seems to me that we already have everlasting life, as part of the evolutionary process that will continue to sustain life on earth, and throughout the cosmos as well.

When our bodies have decomposed we are not gone. Our molecules and atoms live on into the future as living parts of something so big we will never understand it all.

We are but specks in the cosmos on an eternal journey, a mystery forever unfolding.

Whatever foolishness we conspire towards is only temporary.

Still, the grotesquely conspicuous arrogance and stupidity of our current predicament is pitiful indeed.

Seraphine said...

Well, actually, corporate growth is organic. Companies grow, and along the way they spin off smaller companies. If they get too big to grow successfully, they fail or break into smaller pieces. Or they get purchased by an even bigger company. It's like a forest, to use your analogy, that renews itself constantly.

To change a forest, the eco-system has to change. In other words, there has to be a political or social will to effect change. Sudden changes are almost impossible to make.

But we *can* influence change towards a more people- and earth-friendly society. It's a journey begun with small, steady steps.

The Thinker said...

and all of a sudden..

War of the Worlds
Independence Day
Mars Attacks
I Am Legend
28 Days/Weeks Later

are making more sense....what say..?