Monbiot’s imaginary taboo

In: Uncategorized

9 Oct 2007

George Monbiot, Guardian columnist and environmental campaigner, presents himself as breaking a “universal taboo” when he attacks economic growth in his comment in today’s Guardian. To quote his opening paragraph:

“If you are of a sensitive disposition, I advise you to turn the page now. I am about to break the last of the universal taboos. I hope that the recession now being forecast by some economists materialises. I recognise that recession causes hardship. Like everyone I am aware that it would cause some people to lose their jobs and homes. I do not dismiss these impacts or the harm they inflict, though I would argue that they are the avoidable results of an economy designed to maximise growth rather than welfare. What I would like you to recognise is something much less discussed: that, beyond a certain point, hardship is also caused by economic growth.”

Strangely Monbiot does not seem to realise that such views, far from being taboo, are thoroughly mainstream. Indeed he has often expressed them himself before. Perhaps he should monitor this website for numerous references to ideas similar to his.

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