How much is enough?

Austerity is not working, or maybe it is working. If the intention was Shock Doctrine, use as excuse for slash and burn of public services, then yes, austerity is working.

We are creating a serf class, McJobs, work long hours, often in several temporary, part time, zero hours jobs, paid a pittance.

J M Keynes predicted during the Great Depression our economy would have grown eight-fold and we’d all be working 15 hour weeks.

Yes, living standards have risen, and yet we are all slaving away, at least those in work are.

Through the 1950s and 1960s, people saw their living standards rise, then something went horribly wrong, you can satisfy everyone’s needs, but cannot satisfy insatiable greed. We have unsustainable consumption. We would need several planets to satisfy our insatiable greed and unsustainable consumption. Greed has in the past been restrained by moral and cultural controls. Greed has become the engine that drives Capitalism. All that matters is making money. A tiny minority, accrue more than the majority.

Mahatma Gandhi:

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.

In parallel with this, people are not becoming happier, their greed is making them less satisfied, which can only be satisfied by more greed, more wants, in a desperate attempt to escape from the cycle, but far from escaping, they are trapped.

Then there are those who temporary escape, they are zombies sat in front of screens, fed a soma of fear and entertainment.

But we live on a finite planet, it is not only the resources we are consuming, the natural world we are destroying, we are overloading the atmosphere with our toxic emissions.

In the last month we have seen a cyclone hit the Philippines, multiple tornadoes hit the US, and yesterday six months rain was dumped on Sardinia within a couple of hours.

The human race lemming like, is racing pell-mell over the edge of the cliff.

There are little glimmers of hope:

  • UK Uncut has highlighted tax dodging, brought into the political debate
  • Occupy has highlighted we are the 99%
  • In Manchester, students held a demonstration to demand post-crash economics be taught

Robert Skidelsky expands more on his thoughts in discussion with Laurie Taylor on Thinking Allowed.

One Response to “How much is enough?”

  1. keithpp Says:

    One Rolex short of contentment

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