How economic growth has become anti-life

November 3, 2013

“Economic growth begins when seeds are genetically modified and patented, leading to farmers having to buy seeds every season.” (Credit: Raminder Pal Singh/EPA)

“An obsession with growth has eclipsed our concern for sustainability, justice and human dignity. But people are not disposable — the value of life lies outside economic development,” writes philosopher, environmental activist, and author Vandana Shiva atĀ The Guardian.

“Limitless growth is the fantasy of economists, businesses and politicians,” she says. “It is seen as a measure of progress. As a result, gross domestic product (GDP), which isĀ supposed to measure the wealth of nations, has emerged as both the most powerful number and dominant concept in our times. However, economic growth hides the poverty it creates through the destruction of nature, which in turn leads to communities lacking the capacity to provide for themselves.

“GDP is based on creating an artificial and fictitious boundary, assuming that if you produce what you consume, you do not produce. In effect , ‘growth’ measures the conversion of nature into cash, and commons into commodities.” [...]