What Bobby Kennedy Knew About Post Growth

[Articles and opinion pieces published in this blog do not necessarily reflect the polices and opinions of the organizers of the International Conference on Degrowth in the Americas. They are posted here to stimulate discussion and debate on issues relevant to degrowth.]

Post Growth Institute, 17 March 2012, by Sharon Ede

We often think of the concept of ‘post growth’ and the questioning of GDP as a measure of success as something that recently emerged with the Global Financial Crisis. Yet post growth thinking has a long intellectual history, dating back to well before the 20th century – in the 19th century, John Stuart Mill wrote ‘Of the Stationary State’; Thomas Malthus was writing on the relationship between exponential population growth and food supply in the 17th and 18th century; and post growth thinking was even around as far back as Aristotle’s time.

One of the more recent challengers to the GDP (growth) consensus was Robert F Kennedy. On 18 March 1968, RFK directly challenged growth and the use of GDP as a barometer of success for nations in a University of Kansas speech.

Read on

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