Growth imperatives: Resource use and accumulation as distortions

Resource use and accumulation as distortions of competition

Are there “growth imperatives”? We define the term relatively narrowly, structure the discussed mechanisms into six groups and analyse them. Technological progress, with its cost dynamics and “technological unemployment”, proves to be the main cause of the “grow or die” capitalism and of state growth policy. To “survive in competition” today essentially means to replace expensive human labour with cheap consumption of resources. Accumulation (wealth and large enterprises) as an irresistible incentive “almost inevitably” leads to comparable social defects. We thus justify two policy measures, namely the direct social capping of resource consumption and wealth. These measures are fully compatible with the normative foundations and practical requirements of a market economy.

This book part is only available in German.



Book Part


 ISBN 978-3-86581-823-2

Published in

 Adler/Schachtschneider (2017): Postwachstumspolitiken. Wege zur wachstumsunabhängigen Gesellschaft

ZOE Authors

  • Dr Oliver Richters

    Post-Doc, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research