A little, and more: the mythology of “sustainable growth”

Brain Dropping #41

 
                      There’s a beautiful Bach Cantata called: “Ich Habe Genug!”  You can hear it on the internet.  In English it’s “I Have Enough!”  It occurred to me while reading “What Every Environmentalist Needs To Know About Capitalism” by Fred Magdorf and John Belamy Foster – an unflinching plea for environmental sanity.  It lays out the fearsome facts about how close we are to being beyond the turning point in the acidification of the oceans, the poisoning of our drinkable water, and even the breathability of our air.
       
                       “The primary problem is an ancient one and lies not with those who do not have enough for a decent standard of
                         living, but rather with those for whom there is never enough.  Epicurus said that there is no such thing as “enough to
                         someone for whom enough is little.”  A global system organized on the basis of “enough is little” is bound to destroy
                         everything around it and itself as well.”
 
                     An economic system based on maximizing the bottom line, and the mythology of “sustainable growth,” is surely rushing us all headlong over a cliff.  Neo-Liberal Capitalism, with it’s controlling oligarchs, is unmindful of the destruction it leaves it its wake – from mountain top removal and fracking, both endangering our aquifers which took eons to create, to global warming precipitating the melting of the polar ice caps and the consequent rise of the oceans.  This amoral, money-grubbing pursuit of “more and even more” to overflow their coffers is symptomatic of a dire psychosis.   And the madness is institutionalized by the legal concept of fiduciary responsibility which requires CEOs to maximize the stock value regardless of environmental impacts.  A dramatic example of this  diabolical idea was the chemical spill in Bhopal, India at a Union Carbide subsidiary which killed thousands and injured many more. The CEO of Union Carbide, Warren Anderson was charged with manslaughter in India, and appeared on TV tearfully promising compensation for those affected.  His major shareholders were aghast that he put the concern for the victims over their stock value and threatened to sue him for not fulfilling his “fiduciary responsibility.”  Needless to say neither the manslaughter charge or compensation for the victims was ever acted upon.
 
                   It is true that so-called “B Corporations” are able to legally consider social well-being among their priorities. But is it a case of too little too late.?
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