Growth Fetish

Growth Fetish

4.08 (149 ratings by Goodreads)
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For decades our political leaders and opinion makers have touted higher incomes as the way to a better future. Economic growth means better lives for us all.

But after many years of sustained economic growth and increased personal incomes we must confront an awful fact: we aren't any happier. This is the great contradiction of modern politics. Clive Hamilton argues that, far from being the answer to our problems, growth fetishism and the marketing society lie at the heart of our social ills. They have corrupted our social priorities and political structures, and have created a profound sense of alienation among young and old.

Growth Fetish is the first serious attempt at a politics of change for rich countries dominated by sicknesses of affluence, where the real yearning is not for more money but for authentic identity, and where the future lies in creating a society that promotes the things that really do improve our well-being.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 16.26mm | 312.98g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New.
  • 0745322506
  • 9780745322506
  • 248,466

Table of contents


1. Growth fetishism

The growth fetish

Economists on wellbeing

The great contradiction

Political implications

2. Growth and wellbeing


Personal happiness

Values and meaning

Alternative measures

3. Identity

Having and wanting

Consumption and the modern self



4. Progress

The idea of progress

Oppression and liberation


5. Politics

The Third Way

The power of economic ideas

Power and equality

6. Work

Rethinking work

The new labour market

In praise of housework

Work in a post-growth world

7. Environment

The voraciousness of growth

The conquering spirit

A philosophical transition

Environmentalism and social democracy

8. The post-growth society

Political downshifting

Eudemonism: the politics of happiness

Starting the transition

The post-growth economy

Power and social structure
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Review quote

'Breaks new ground by asking us to think what a post-growth, environmentally stable society might actually be like' -- Hugh Stretton, author of Economics: An Introduction 'The most lucid, penetrating, comprehensive and clearly articulated analysis of our present human predicament and of the pathologies that underlie it that I've seen so far' -- John Bunzl, author of The Simultaneous Policy 'A powerful statement about the failure of the rat-race society and the need for a new philosophy of sociable living' -- Professor Richard Layard, London School of Economics 'Anyone tired of current cant about growth and resistant to the blandishments of consumerism will welcome this radical analysis of conventional economics. Paradigm shift is usually painful, but this one is a positive pleasure' -- Sir Crispin Tickell, Chancellor of the University of Kent at Canterbury 'Where Hamilton takes the argument forward is with his view that the overwhelming majority of people in the rich countries have passed the point where additional material wealth gives them any benefit at all. Growth Fetish takes this to its logical conclusion, arguing that advanced economies, obsessed with increasing gross domestic product, should chill out. We'll carry on consuming, however miserable it makes us' -- David Smith, Sunday Times 'A hugely stimulating and thoughtful contribution to the increasingly important debate about economic growth' -- Jonathon Porritt, Chairman of the British government's Sustainable Development Commission 'Right on target and badly needed' -- Noam Chomsky
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About Clive Hamilton

Clive Hamilton is Executive Director of The Australia Institute, Australia's foremost public-interest think tank. He has held visiting academic positions at the ANU, University of Sydney, University of Technology Sydney and the University of Cambridge. Described in the press as Australia's most influential economist on the left and Australia's leading environmental economist, he is the author of six books and his views feature regularly in major news outlets.
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Rating details

149 ratings
4.08 out of 5 stars
5 35% (52)
4 43% (64)
3 18% (27)
2 3% (5)
1 1% (1)
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