State Economy": Evaluation.
(A rough draft).
Most of the
depictions of an acceptable future for humankind and the Earth,
including the "Steady State Economy", look very similar--very
sketchy, very indistinct, not well defined, with one common
feature: they are generated by the distress that humans find
themselves in currently; Any place that looks only a bit more
comfortable than the overall situation we find ourselves in now,
looks as desirable to us in this state of emergency.
Some of those depictions are vaguely being described as
"sustainable", which make them a bit more attractive to us, but
since "sustainability" has so many different definitions, the
resulting depictions do not become thus any less vague.
At any point, there can only exist one future for this planet, and
if any of the available vague depictions of all the places to go to
from our current distress would indeed become our future at any
point, we could not really recognize them if we should find
ourselves in middle of them, because most, if not all, of all those
places are presented so vaguely. It might also be said that because
all of those places to go to from here are so poorly defined, that
should one them become our future, this future would, by its own
existence, become defined sharply automatically and show enough
many imperfections again to want to get away from--the conundrum
would repeat itself till the planet would become uninhabitable, if
for humans only.
If there do exist any clearly defined desired future
visions/models, their desirability is shared by only a limited
number of people, and thus rendered impossible to realize.
The approach to our getting out of our predicament has to change
Before we start moving from our difficulties towards a place that
we might consider as able to offer a satisfactory existence for us,
why not to check thoroughly--into as small a detail as
possible--that the situation we want to exist in is really
something that we do want? Of course, this alone would not ever
do--how do we convince all others that they will like the situation
also? Because, if we don't, their dislike of our vision/model will
prevent us from ever getting there.
I believe that the approach to be adopted is this:
In most instances the desire for change is driven by our trying to
escape our unsatisfactory circumstances; we don't really give
enough thought to where we would like to escape to, as long as the
grass on the other side of the fence looks greener to us. Because
all of us would like to have a happy future existence on this
planet, only a collectively, carefully designed future
should be striven for. It has to be designed by all of us who have
a stake in the future. If this sounds difficult, let us realize
that without all of us designing our future together, we
would have to continue to reconcile all of our differences in real
life, causing real damage to ourselves and others we share the
Earth with, as the practice has been so far, with obvious
The change to an ideal Earth then would not then be driven by our
desire to escape, but by the will to achieve a well defined future
that has been designed carefully by all who want to share such a
There would be no need for any form of "social control" to enforce
anything at all when we all would be able to control our own lives
by being able to take a part in the process of designing our own
We always have to resolve our differences (whether we want to, or
not), but--we would be doing it "in modelo" without incurring any
real damages; Compare this to current practice of resolving our
differences in real life, incurring real damages, more often than
not. We would gladly then work towards what we want--no one would
have to force us!
Any of the "models" of SSE (or, for the matter, any of the many
"escape based" models) that I glanced at are (in my opinion) too
abstruse to be understood by most people--what is needed is
graphical models (a la SL, etc.?) from which it would be possible
to see, to a small detail, what everyday life would be like, where
the movement of resources would be clearly seen, etc.
Such models of supposedly sustainable "solutions" for the future
would be very useful in "seeing" how purportedly sustainable
communities would behave in relation to all other life on the
planet, and in relation to other such communities. I discuss this
in "Universal Platform for
Developing Sustainable Earth Vision/Model Cooperatively".
Bibliography and suggested reading.
This book explains the fundamental difference between a change
towards a desired goal based on an escape from undesirable
conditions (most current approaches including SSE) and a change
based on "creating" (Fritz 1984) an entirely new, unprecedented
"result" (Fritz 1984), i. g. - ModelEarth ( www.modelearth.org
1984 The Path of Least Resistance
Salem, MA, DMA, Inc., 1984, ISBN: 0-930641-00-0
There is, perhaps a useful observation about "steady state economy"
2011 Tverberg, Gail
"There is No Steady State Economy (except at a very basic level)"
"Steady State Economy" in Japan during the "Edo" (Tokugawa)
"The Cuckoo that won't sing. Sustainability and Japanese culture"
My posts on the subject of sustainability of "steady state
ecomnomy" at the Google group "SteadyStaters" - How sustainable
would "steady state economy" actually be?
Sustianable "Steady State Economy" - continued. -
The Need for a Model of a "Steady State Economy" Society.