Is progress and development and ‘growth’ (economic growth is implied) really what we need on this planet?

From the little I’ve come to know about life, if we don’t value what we have right now, then we won’t know how to value the thing we want, once we get it.  We all know the course the dominant culture is on is insatiable.

But what do we need?

We need unadulterated food, soil, air, water and love.


We may think we need more golf courses, economic development, low-wage chain stores, and McMansions, a raise, a newer car, etc. (Yeah, I know, in the short-term a raise can be life saving – but I’m talking the Big Picture)

Maybe a community’s desire to be self-sufficient is what we really need. A group of people who live in a geographic region who desire to sustain themselves and their neighbors to the best of their ability by their own hands, not the hands of 14 year olds in Bangladesh, or the credit afforded by the Big Banks to amass more trinkets.

If money is a lien against the Earth’s resources (raw earth resources as well as human/animal labor), why do we in this country and others, continue to live in such a way that the debt we incur will never, and can never, be paid off? Nothing can bring back the hundreds of mountaintops removed for coal in the oldest mountain range in the U.S., for instance.


In the little high-desert town that I live in, there is a strong push these days to get the “economy” going at a faster pace.  A push to build more and make more money, and in this currently reigning paradigm that is what is needed.  But it’s not a paradigm I subscribe to.  What if the people in this town, instead of wanting more new businesses to open to provide more jobs, found ways to turn the needs of those who live here into a business?  Creating community kitchens so that those who would like to make a business out of making food for others could do it without having to open a restaurant?  One GREAT thing that Flagstaff just did is open a community workshop – THAT’S what I’m talking about!

3 Comments on “Need”

  1. Sven says:

    The whole perpetual growth paradigm is like we’re on a hamster wheel and just can’t get off. There is of course a lot in our personal behavior that is keeping the wheel spinning (and accelerating) but it must also be said that capitalism and its corporate puppet masters have been quite brilliant at distributing wealth to the few, while the vast majority of people around the world are fighting for scraps, too busy and too poor to worry about the larger effects of always having to chase after the most immediate need.

    That community workshop looks great, it’s always hopeful to see people defying the gods of marketing and consumerism and getting back to what really matters — community.


  2. Mary says:

    I see you in my memory. We are at a seminar for potential career-creation. The pyramid scheme is explained and we are being invited to participate, as self-employed salespeople, for a company aggressively pushing natural, “earth friendly” products. The oozing meta-message is that these products are going to make life easy, make the earth whole again. You stand, outraged at the paradigm. You proclaim before all attendees (about 60 strangers, in polyester business-suits) “If you people think that MORE PRODUCTS are going to cure the world, you’re all FUCKED!” You exit. You are my hero. But, I know that the plight of the earth is felt deeply, in you. Then, as now, you are so clear, passionate and articulate about it. I’m glad that Gaia has you on her side!


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