Growth Fetish

Growth Fetish

4.09 (139 ratings by Goodreads)
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'Right on target and badly needed.' Noam Chomsky 'Breaks new ground by asking us to think what a post-growth, environmentally stable society might actually be like...Clearly, stylishly written.' Hugh Stretton 'An incisive critique of how the global economic and political systems have turned us into the miserable rich. Whatever you choose to do and wherever you go, you will benefit from keeping as copy of Growth Fetish tucked up your sleeve.' Sydney Morning Herald 'This is 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 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. In this provocative new book, 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

  • Hardback | 288 pages
  • 130 x 198 x 22mm | 399.17g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • port.
  • 0745322514
  • 9780745322513

Review quote

Right on target and badly needed. -- Noam Chomsky This is a hugely stimulating and thoughtful contribution to the increasingly important debate about economic growth. Clive Hamilton strips bare the intellectual inadequacies of the so-called 'Third Way', and focuses on the one question politicians are too afraid to answer: if people aren't getting any happier as they go on getting richer, why do we continue to trash the planet and turn people into consumptive zombies in pursuit of economic growth? There is a conspiracy of silence about all this which simply has to be broken. -- Jonathon Porritt, Chairman of the British government's Sustainable Development Commission 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. ... His book, 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 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 This is 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 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 Breaks new ground by asking us to think what a post-growth, environmentally stable society might actually be like. ... Clearly, stylishly written. Its language and argument are accessible. -- Hugh Stretton, author of Economics: An Introduction
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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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Table of contents

Introduction 1 Growth fetishism The growth fetish Economists on wellbeing The great contradiction Political implications 2 Growth and wellbeing Income Personal happiness Values and meaning Alternative measures 3 Identity Having and wanting Consumption and the modern self Marketing Overconsumption 4 Progress The idea of progress Oppression and liberation Globalisation 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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Rating details

139 ratings
4.09 out of 5 stars
5 36% (50)
4 42% (58)
3 19% (26)
2 3% (4)
1 1% (1)
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