Is capitalist growth eco-sustainable?

Is capitalist growth eco-sustainable?

By Antonio Elizalde

In this article I will try to present an argument to demonstrate the environmental infeasibility of capitalist development, in its current form of organization of the productive forces. To meet the above objective I will present a set of theses in the form of arguments.

Is capitalist growth environmentally sustainable?

There is no economic problem ... What exists is a moral problem. (E. F. Schumacher)

In this article I will try to present an argument to demonstrate the environmental infeasibility of capitalist development, in its current form of organization of the productive forces. To meet the above objective I will present a set of theses in the form of arguments.

Argument 1

Sustainable economic growth is not possible. Almost all authors and analysts in today's society tend to agree that Capitalism, in its current expression, is the culmination of the Ideology of Progress, that is, of that conception of history and the universe in which it is thought of as a sustained and continuous process of ascending evolution, from simpler forms to more complex forms, where the expression of human will has no limits. This view holds that the only possible limits to recognize are self-imposed, for ethical or political reasons. All other limits: physical, ecological, economic, are likely to be exceeded (or transgressed) with the help of the main tool available to the human species: its technology. However, this conception enters into a deep contradiction with what the natural sciences, such as physics and biology, tell us, which tell us that: in the universe everything has limits.

The following quote from Herman E. Daly is enormously illuminating: "Claims of the impossible are the very foundation of science. It is impossible: travel faster than light, create or destroy matter-energy, build a machine of perpetual motion, etc.

By respecting the theorems of the impossible, we avoid wasting resources on projects destined for failure. That is why economists should take a great interest in the theorems of the impossible, especially the one to be proved here: that it is impossible for the world's economy to grow free from poverty and environmental degradation. In other words, sustainable growth is impossible. In its physical dimensions, the economy is an open subsystem of the terrestrial ecosystem that is finite, non-growing and materially closed.
As the economic subsystem grows, it incorporates an increasing proportion of the total ecosystem, having its limit at one hundred percent, if not earlier. Therefore its growth is not sustainable. The term "sustainable growth" applied to economics is a bad oxymoron: self-contradictory as prose, and not at all evocative as poetry. " (1)

Argument 2

Technology cannot overcome the impossible. The remarkable success that the West has had, in relation to other civilizational experiences, is related to the enormous power that technology has shown to transform our material reality. This phenomenon has led us to believe that Technology has an unlimited capacity to solve any type of problem; that everything is a matter of the time required to find the solution.

This conception is based on the evidence that history itself presents us with respect to how, thanks to scientific and technological progress, problems that were considered almost insoluble and serious threats to human survival were overcome, for example: plagues. and famines that occurred in Europe during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, or the situations of general misery that characterized the initial moments of industrial capitalism. This is so, but the present situation is substantively different.

In a previous article (2) I made reference to the phenomenon that I called the acceleration of historical time and the dislocation of physical time. Today we are carrying out through our forms of existence such radical transformations in nature that are equivalent to what happened during millions of years of geological evolution of the planet, substantially altering the fragile balances that make possible the existence of the biosphere and of course of our life.

"Of all the resources that man has already withdrawn from the earth, half was spent in the thousands of years prior to 1922. The other half was unearthed from 1922 onwards, that is, in less than 70 years. The speed, in the life today is tremendous. " (3) At the end of 1994, I participated in Mexico in a meeting with farmers that took place in the vicinity of Dolores Hidalgo, at a distance of about 300 kilometers from Mexico City.

When I asked them why they did not build reservoirs since their soils were dry land, they answered that they could not do so because the law prohibited them. I then asked them why they did not drill wells and they pointed out that groundwater is constitutionally reserved to supply the needs of Mexico City. Peasants, unable to work the land properly due to the thirst of the almost 20 million inhabitants of a city located 300 kilometers away.

Technology cannot provide answers to the alternative use of scarce resources. In those cases there will inevitably be a choice. There are those who affirm that the wars of the future will be over water. It is quite possible as the previous anecdote shows that this is so. The Vezelay Group coined the concept of response time some years ago: any response to a problem requires time to be elaborated; But the time required may be longer than that in which the problem, which has its own natural history, reaches the critical level for which there will no longer be an answer, since the resilience of the phenomenon will have been overwhelmed.

Examples of the above can be AIDS or Ebola pandemics or the eutrophication of rivers and lakes due to excess nutrients. One of the fundamental principles of quality control affirms that: the safety index of any artifact is not the average, but the product of the safety indexes of its different component parts. What can we deduce from the above?

That any human product, be it a machine, a structure, a social system, a mode of production or a life strategy, becomes more complex as new elements are added, in addition to those it already has. The products provided by our production systems, durable and consumer goods, our organizations, all the material products of our culture, are systems to which we are increasingly adding functions, additional commands: "knobs", to better illustrate the idea. This implies, consequently, that in practice those additional elements that are introduced increase the chances that said system will fail. The only possible way that such a process does not imply a growing deterioration - since each new element incorporated generates an increase in the level of risk or propensity to fail -, is through an increase or maintenance of the level of security, for which the new The incorporated element must have a higher security index than that of the system to which it is incorporated.

It is this improvement in the safety levels of the incorporated elements, which made it possible to pass from the aircraft of the pioneers of aviation to the current commercial aircraft. But this process also has its limits. As many facts that we have known demonstrate. The Titanic sank, many space missions have failed, nuclear submarines have sunk, buildings collapse, bridges collapse, Black Mondays occur on world stock markets, telecommunications systems collapse, banks fail, etc. Why is the above happening? Because the change produced in any of these systems is a change that takes place thanks to the interrelation of many dimensions: political, economic, financial, technological, social, cultural, even psychological.

No inventor of weapons imagined when he was inventing it, that it would be used by a fanatic or a madman who was going to climb on the roof of a building to kill people from there. But in reality, these types of scenarios are one of the inherent risks of any product that is designed in a system such as the complex systems that human beings constitute. And here we find a fundamental problem. Our daily experience shows us that the security levels of our systems are failing and more and more. When these failures affected only family or local spheres, and even provincial ones, there were no major problems, since the whole of humanity did not feel affected.

But the capitalist mode of production has been expanding and globalized. When oil transportation began, the first ships were carrying a few thousand tons. Today, however, supertanks carry hundreds of thousands of tons; and the risk levels are similar to those of smaller boats. We are, then, assuming options of increasing risk, which not only involve us, but also the rest of humanity, and future generations.

What is paradoxical is that the obsessive search for a greater imposition of our will on reality, for greater purposefulness and greater deliberation, inevitably leads us to greater unpredictability, greater uncertainty, of not improving quality, which we leads, to which we must continue to intensify perpetually, technological change. But technology, like everything created, although perfectible has a limit, beyond which it cannot transcend.

Argument 3

Western economic development systematically degrades everything that people valued and thus destroys the vital matrix of humanity. Ivan Illich identifies as a characteristic feature of the economic development of the West what he calls the social production of negative value, and it is that social program that in the name of a materialized ideal called "development" degrades the cultural patterns by which people at Throughout history it has given meaning to their lives and has found the joy and enjoyment of living. Illich states that:
"A certain geosophical principle has been violated, a wisdom of the Earth. Thanks to the continuous flow of the water cycle through the atmosphere, the vegetal layer and human culture, the earth lives in a kind of open system. Now we see that the The contribution of culture is decisive for the life of this system. Protecting and increasing the soil-water matrix of the environment is an essential condition for the flourishing and survival of any society. Through the intensification and extension of negative value, Western society is going in the opposite direction.
It is heading towards the inevitable destruction of this delicate matrix. Mexico City is the very image of modernity, the microcosm of the current West. There excreta, garbage, poisons and residual heat cannot be transformed and radiate back to the cosmic cycle. The mythological possibilities of human cultivation are drowned under the pestilential cloak of a gray-yellow miasma. Now the Earth becomes a heap of garbage where the accumulation of waste annihilates the rhythms of a planet that lives and breathes. " (4) It also points out that the study of negative value allows us to become aware that the course of this evolution has a history and that its essence is what we have called economics.

That the history of Western economic development can be traced from Aristotle's implicit shortage of merchants, to the destruction of autonomous cultural responses to the human condition and the transformation of our beautiful planet into a pestilential garbage dump.

Argument 4

Capitalist growth is based on the permanent creation of needs, many of them artificial, to sustain the demand for new goods that is what feeds it. The current capitalist society anchors its existence in the industrial production of mass consumer goods: goods that need to be permanently devalued and discarded, in order to continue creating new goods to replace them. The following text by André Gorz sharply exposes this fact: "What do we need? What do we want? What do we lack so that we can fulfill ourselves, communicate with others, lead a more relaxed life, and establish more fraternal relationships? Economic, political economy, they have nothing to do with these questions. Concerned only to make the machine work, to circulate capital, to maintain a certain level of employment, they manufacture for us the needs corresponding to the demands, at a given moment. of the apparatus of production and circulation They deliberately and systematically invent new shortages and deficiencies, new luxuries and new poverties, in accordance with the needs of profitability and growth of capital.

This has at its service strategists who know how to manipulate our most secret springs to impose their products through the symbols with which they are loaded. Twenty years ago, one of the strategists taught his game with candor: his name is Stanley Resor, president of J. Walter Thompson, one of the largest advertising agencies in the United States. For Resor, "When income increases, creating new needs is the most important thing. When people are asked:" Do you know that your standard of living will increase by 50 percent in the next 10 years? ", No they have no idea what that means. They do not recognize the need for a second car unless they are strongly reminded. This need has to be created in their minds and they need to be made to see the benefits the second car will bring them .

I consider advertising as the educational and activating force capable of causing the changes in demand that are necessary for us. By showing many people a higher standard of living, we increase consumption to the level that our production and resources justify. " (5) Gorz concludes that it is the consumer who is at the service of production, in order to ensure the outputs it demands; that it is the consumer who has to adapt to the requirements of the productions that technological changes indicate as the most profitable in certain circumstances. On the other hand, it affirms that this is essential for society to be able to perpetuate itself, and thus reproduce its hierarchical inequalities and maintain its mechanisms of domination untouched.

Argument 5

Capitalist growth contains a paradox, it creates goods that are transformed into evils, since everything good after a certain scale becomes bad. André Gorz himself in a magnificent article (6) , shows with the case of the automobile, how much of the goods of modernity only maintain their character of good, as long as they are scarce and accessible only to minorities.
At the moment in which these become massive, they cease to be goods and become evils. The illusion of the motorist to travel at high speeds from one point of the territory to another at the moment it occurs to him, is only possible if there are few cars. If all the inhabitants of a city own a car, it will not be possible for anyone to travel to any point, unless extreme regulations are established. Capitalist society has in its nature an exclusionary character that means that it can only offer benefits that are sustained in the zero sum game: if someone wins it is because someone else loses it.
The American anthropologist Marvin Harris (7) He has carried out a brilliant analysis of contemporary North American society, in which he demonstrates how the quality of life of that nation has been deteriorating due to the production processes of planned obsolescence. He points out that the goods acquired have a certain useful life from the production processes that rarely coincides with the expectations regarding the time of use that consumers have regarding said goods. The necessary processes for creating technical services and the costs for the consumer of the repairs that must be made to the various types of devices that make up their home or work equipment, reflect according to Harris a process of disguised inflation. Likewise, this obsolescence increases the levels of waste, waste and reinforces the burden on the environment, through the production of garbage and new demands for raw materials extracted from the natural environment. In such a way that many durable goods and even capital goods, by the internal logic of capitalism, are transformed from goods - which provide quality of life or wealth through the creation of new goods -, into evils, since they are transformed into scrap or garbage (negative social value), becoming a burden for the environment. But there is another way in which contemporary capitalist society is transforming, like a modern Midas, everything it touches into garbage and it is through its addiction to gigantism. The Austrian economist Leopold Kohr points out that neither the developed world nor the underdeveloped world have yet become aware that hyperdevelopment exists, since once certain limits are transgressed, technological progress not only ceases to be a solution in humanity's struggle for social advancement but it becomes your worst obstacle. And he argues the following: "The proper size of a tooth depends on the function of chewing, grinding food to make it digestible, without injuring the mouth in which it is fixed in the process. If it were larger, it would not solve the problem of growth, but would create a more serious form ... Similarly, the human body, the shell of a snail, a house, a shirt, a school, a theater, a Parliament, an airport and whatever we want to name have some size limits determined by their functions.As Cambridge biologist D'Arcy Thompson has shown in his masterful study On Growth and Form (H. Blume Ed., 1981) if a snail added a single ring to the compact structure of its shell after it reaches the appropriate size, its volume would increase sixteen times, with the result that the shell designed to shelter the snail, would shatter under the useless overweight ... " (8) "... the very abundance creates a problem rather than solving one. The same is true of most of the goods that progress has so lavishly dispensed to us, from medical services to cars, to refrigerators, homes and even vacations. from being luxuries to becoming restorative items into necessary things, not to improve life, but simply to help us combat the additional difficulties of living on such a vast scale. As the increased production of aspirin tablets is no longer the measure of our sanitary standards to become the index of migraines that we did not suffer from when we lived in smaller, less irritating societies ... " (9)

Argument 6

The main one of the efficiencies: reproductive efficiency, is the one that capitalist development does not recognize. The limited time horizon makes it impossible for us to realize that in a long-term evolutionary perspective, the only valid efficiency is reproductive efficiency. In the process of life, every living organism develops in interaction with its environment, and this interaction, which is properly the life of that living organism, allows it to create itself by modifying or transforming its environment, to make it possible its existing. When a living being, as an individual, fails in this purpose, he dies.
When a group of living beings, as a species, fail in this purpose, they become extinct. Franz Hinkelammert points out that: "A market system that is not exposed to corrective resistance behaves in a fragmentary way in the face of the interdependent sets of the social division of labor and nature. It is a" fragmented technology "( piece-meal-tecnology) as stated by Popper.

As such, it intervenes without any orientation criteria in interdependent relationships. The more this fragmentary technology is celebrated as the only realistic technology, the more rapidly the interdependent systems of the social division of labor and nature are destroyed. An action predominantly oriented by market criteria cannot anticipate or avoid this outcome.

The market system turns out to be a compulsive system. If it is allowed to operate as directed by its "invisible hand," it forces catastrophe. Market opportunities and their use are compulsory, but they have to be calculated piecemeal.

Either you lose yourself in the competition, or you participate in the destruction of the foundations of life on our planet. To win in the competition you destroy the sources of wealth. In the market system there is only the alternative: hanged or shot. Since in the total market competition is the only thing untouchable, this competition promotes the process of destruction. " (10) Usually one tends to forget that the ultimate goal of competition is to eliminate competition from the market, once this has been achieved, competition disappears. That is to say, the monopoly arises: what was sought to avoid is what is finally obtained.

Argument 7

Capitalism makes the social construction of obsolescence The capitalist society of mass consumption has radically transformed the values ​​of traditional societies. It has destroyed the values ​​of cooperation and conviviality, it has destroyed the values ​​of solidarity and fraternity. It has fostered extreme individualism and a kind of pathological consumerism, which has even begun to compromise the future. Perhaps in the not-so-distant past, for generations born at the beginning of the century, the dominant social practice was the acquisition of durable consumer goods with savings, which had been the product of long periods of past deprivation. And only in the case of a tragedy or a significant investment for the well-being of the family group was resorted to some type of indebtedness, as long as it did not significantly compromise future decisions. Wiilis Harman presents the profound cultural mutation from a "frugal society" to a "consuming society" experienced especially by North American society. There he learned to waste, to use and throw things away, to feel dissatisfied even with the latest car model and to yearn for the new model. He also notes that: "A related cultural change was in attitudes toward debt. People who had previously had an ethic of saving up to what they could afford now learned to buy on credit - buy now and pay later (or better yet, buy now, borrow later).

The corporations took on high debt, in some cases replacing financing through equity issuances without fixed interest for financing through credits. National and municipal governments found it more politically attractive to run deficits than to tax as they properly did before. Another, related change has to do with accepting high interest rates.

Again a change in language reveals the profound cultural change: at an earlier stage there had been two words in use with completely different connotations. "Interest" was a reasonable fee charged for a loan, while "usury" meant profiting from the loan of money. The distinction disappeared, and charging interest at what had once been considered usury rates became commonplace.

The combined effect of a debtor psychology and high interest rates has a particularly pernicious consequence in the long run. The immediate effect has been that for every dollar a family spends, 30 to 50 cents go to debt service, much of it hidden.

Each person, rich and poor alike, allocates a third or a half of their total expenses in direct or indirect payment of interest. However, a much smaller group has excess money to lend (or invest) so they receive interest. The net effect is of a pervasive and pernicious redistributive system, uncompromisingly shifting money from those who have less to those who have more.

Over time, this unfair tendency of the economy to concentrate wealth is bound to result in mass discontent and demands for political compensation. A similar mechanism operates between nations, where its effect is already visible in the fact that for many developing countries the transfer of wealth from poor to rich nations in the form of debt service far exceeds the transfer in the direction of debt service. reversed through trade and development aid. " (11) In the course of no more than two generations, we have moved towards a form of acquisition of goods of all kinds through financing in future commitments, via indebtedness with increasing terms. Here we find the paradox that in order to deploy the aforementioned freedom of choice in present consumption, we reduce our degrees of future freedom, and at the same time we acquire goods that give us a higher quality of life in the present, compromising our future well-being. Are we not by means of these social mechanisms advancing towards an obsolescence of the future? How many people do not feel tied to their current lifestyles due to the lifetime debt they have acquired? In the unequal societies of the past, both slavery and servitude existed - some of this also occurred in our country - and both social institutions implied a negative inheritance, a commitment to the workforce owed, which was transmitted intergenerationally. Isn't laminated money and easy borrowing a postmodern version of past easements? How much further in the future will indebtedness need to move to maintain high economic growth rates? In societies that operate with this logic, all those human beings who for various reasons cannot become credit subjects become obsolete and / or disposable: people with low or low income levels (poor), people with hopes of limited life (elderly and terminally ill), people with diminishing ability to pay (chronically ill and disabled), and so on many other social groups. In such a way that exclusion becomes necessary to maintain the levels of competitiveness achieved.


I do not want to overwhelm readers with a barrage of data demonstrating the levels of risk we currently find ourselves in, but I would like, in conclusion, to present a very illuminating quote that saves me further comment. "They say that one of the best indicators of human wealth is the amount of energy expenditure. This amount is related to GDP. To obtain energy, humans consume mainly fossil fuels. Such as coal, oil and natural gas When they are burned, they discharge carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Currently there are 20 billion tons of carbon dioxide per year. And each year that amount grows by 0.2 percent. That is increasing the temperature of the atmosphere, and as well as "Heat pollution" destroys the balance of ecosystems, it also causes an extraordinary alteration in meteorological phenomena. Nuclear energy appears as a solution to these problems. But the radioactive contamination that comes out of the nuclear furnace brings a new risk, of Another dimension. To cut radioactivity in half it will take 6 thousand years. That means that radioactivity will remain almost forever on this earth. And a nuclear furnace ear resists a maximum of 30 years. Besides that, that furnace cannot be destroyed or modified. It will have to be left as is, for thousands of years. And furthermore, the radioactivity will begin to quietly drain into the air, into the water and onto the land. And it will certainly threaten the existence of all living things on earth. The most terrible thing is that, in the name of economic development and to solve the problem of lack of resources, we give the problems without solution to our descendants. In the year 2000, the planet's inhabitants will be 7 billion. If they all had the same GNP as North Americans, air pollution will be at least ten times higher than it is today.

So I ask myself: will the natural system of the earth endure such a disturbance? We have no answer to this question. Modern civilization was made by squeezing nature. But it is not possible that nature defines for a man to develop. And today, human being and nature are increasingly distancing themselves from each other. We should balance that. Therefore, it is necessary to organize a new system for the world.

The development has to be revised and evolve towards a simplification of the way of life. Isn't the idea of ​​"conquering" nature just as misleading? " (12) Is it possible to do something? Surge de lo anterior una pregunta obvia: ¿cómo podemos transitar desde la situación actual hasta la situación deseada, evitando las clases de conflicto y violencia que han acompañado a menudo los principales cambios sociales en el pasado? Considero importante señalar al respecto que, es posible identificar manifestaciones intrínsecas al interior del sistema capitalista actualmente, de un diálogo de resistencia, que apunta hacia una transformación cuyo grado no es posible señalarlo, sin pecar de ingenuo o de catastrofista. Dicho diálogo es producto, por una parte, de una creciente resistencia al interior de las propias sociedades capitalistas más desarrolladas, por parte de diversos grupos o filosofías que proponen y llevan a cabo estilos de vida que constituyen un frontal rechazo al modelo cultural y económico vigente, y por la otra, de una búsqueda por parte de sus propios conductores para redireccionar al sistema capitalista hacia perspectivas menos destructivas y más sustentables. Como producto de este diálogo o confrontación se han ido incorporando nuevos valores que han obligando a un cambio del sistema capitalista, cambiando si no su naturaleza, al menos algunas dimensiones de él.

Un buen ejemplo de ello es lo ocurrido en el campo de los derechos humanos, donde después de un largo debate iniciado el año 1948 por no más de 30 países se ha ido generando un consenso universal, que ha llevado a suscribir la Declaración Universal de los Derechos Humanos a más de 180 países, dando origen asimismo a diversos convenios jurídicos que sin cuestionar la racionalidad vigente, logran sin embargo estrujarla hasta el máximo, como es el caso de convenios donde se incorporan nuevos elementos o nuevas miradas como: género, identidad cultural, minorías, e incluso el propio medio ambiente. Por otra parte, creo importante presentar la idea de Willis Harman sobre la existencia de fuerzas auto-curativas en la sociedad. (13) Harman señala que los organismos vivos son en gran medida auto-curativos. Es posible que así ocurra también con las sociedades aunque los mecanismos estén poco estudiados (14) .

La hipótesis Gaia (15) que presenta al planeta, como un sistema vivo, sugiere también que puede ser auto-curativo. No es posible no obstante proveer ninguna seguridad que los procesos curativos del planeta garantizarán la continuidad de la civilización humana. Debemos ser los seres humanos quienes cuidemos de nosotros mismos.

Si reconocemos esta capacidad para la auto-curación, surge una nueva mirada sobre la realidad, que nos lleva a preguntarnos a que es lo equivocado en el sistema auto-curativo de la sociedad, que está fracasando para manejar los desafíos patogénicos a medida que éstos se presentan, y por otra parte, a como restaurar los procesos auto-curativos de la sociedad.

Afirma Harman que, si se adopta una hipótesis optimista que muchas de las actividades innovadoras de la gente en el presente pueden ser interpretadas como impulsos curativos de la sociedad, parcial e inconscientemente orientados, va a ser muy fácil reconocer muchísimos signos de respuestas creativas espontáneas, tales como una gran variedad de movimientos sociales, así como experimentos innovadores en organizaciones no lucrativas, experiencias de economías alternativas, producción y circulación de dinero local, programas alternativos de cuidado de la salud, nuevas formas de negocios empresariales, aproximaciones ciudadanas para apoyar nuevas empresas, desarrollo de comunidad y formas y estilos de vida sustentables en países del Tercer Mundo y así muchísimas otras que sería largo enunciar. Concluye que: "Estamos ya llegando a tomar conciencia que las fuerzas para un cambio radical han estado creciendo y pueden estar cercanas al nivel crítico. Esta no es la clásica fuerza revolucionaria de los oprimidos.

Es más bien, la conciencia revolucionaria de que hemos estado oprimiéndonos a nosotros mismos con un sistema de creencias que adquirimos, un sistema de creencias sobre el cual se sustenta toda nuestra estructura tecno-económica, la cual es incompatible con un futuro viable para la sociedad humana sobre el planeta. Sin embargo, muchos de aquellos que han sido muy exitosos en alcanzar posiciones de riqueza y poder en el sistema actual han comenzado a preguntarse si aquello finalmente es satisfactorio en términos de la forma en que ellos invierten sus vidas.
¿Qué podemos hacer? Aprovechar cada oportunidad para conversar acerca de estos importantes asuntos; tenerlos lo más claramente posible en nuestras mentes.

Examinar nuestras propias vidas para ver que es realmente importante para nosotros. Descubrir y alimentar nuestra propia motivación para contribuir al bienestar del todo. Juntarnos con otros para compartir y difundir nuestra preocupación y nuestra comprensión. Muchos de Uds. sienten una compulsión para actuar aquí y ahora y hacer algo. Pero no es tanta acción como sabiduría la que necesitamos. Escuchen a su intuición y a su corazón. Uds. sabrán que hacer." (16)

Notas y citas bibliográficas
Herman Daly, Crecimiento sostenible: Un teorema de la imposibilidad, en Desarrollo, Nº 20, 1991, Madrid, pág. 47.
Antonio Elizalde, Economía, ética, epistemología y economía: relaciones difíciles pero necesarias, en Medio Ambiente y Urbanización. Nº 49, Buenos Aires, Diciembre de 1994.
Kyoya Imai, Budismo e Meio-Ambiente, en Bodisatva. Revista de Pensamento Budista, Nº 2, Outono 1991, Porto Alegre, pág. 21.
Ivan Illich, La belleza y el basural, en El filósofo callejero, Nº 9, Santiago, Agosto de 1995, pág. 16.
André Gorz, Adiós al proletariado, Imago Mundi, Buenos Aires, 1989, págs. 127 y 128.
André Gorz, La ideología social del coche, en Utopía, Año II, Nº 3, Buenos Aires.
Marvin Harris, La cultura norteamericana contemporánea: Una visión antropológica, Alianza Editorial, Madrid, 1984.
Leopold Kohr, Apéndice II. Tecnología adecuada, en Para Schumacher, R. D. Laing y otros, H. Blume Editores, pág. 209.
Leopold Kohr, op. cit., pág. 211.
Franz Hinkelammert, Cultura de la esperanza y sociedad sin exclusión, Editorial DEI, San José de Costa Rica, 1995. pág. 216.
Willis Harman, Doing Business in a Transforming Society, publicado en ICIS FORUM, Volume 23, Number 1, Winter 1993, pág. 30 y 31.
Kyoya Imai, op.cit., pág. 21.
Ver de Willis Harman, op.cit., págs. 37 y 38.
Ver al respecto el interesante trabajo de David Loye y Riane Eisler del Instituto para Proyecciones Futuras, Carmel, California, Chaos and Transformation: Implications of Nonequilibrium Theory for Social Science and Society publicado en Behavioral Science, Volume 32, 1987, págs. 53 – 65.
La Hipótesis Gaia fue presentada por James Lovelock y sostiene, a partir de la observación de la improbabilidad de los fenómenos atmosféricos, que nuestro planeta aparece así como un prodigio de autorregulación, de homeostasis. Los diferentes organismos que lo componen colaborarían en el mantenimiento del equilibrio global, al igual que nuestros diversos órganos y células contribuyen a mantener nuestras constantes vitales; sólo pensando que la Tierra es un gran organismo tienen sentido los datos mencionados. Ver de James Lovelock, Gaia, una nueva visión de la vida sobre la tierra. Ediciones Orbis S.A., Madrid, 1ª edición, 1985.
Willis Harman, op.cit., pág. 38.

* Antonio Elizalde
Fundación Unida

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