Living the wrong life?
In The Hague, where the Dutch government sits in parliament, there are regular “Extinction Rebellion” demonstrations taking place.
A Dutch columnist tells of how he was walking to his office and got caught up in a line of young people heading for the parliament buildings. A group of young girls asked him, “Are you coming along with us to demonstrate?” He replied that he had to make an appointment and was already late. “Come on,” they said, “every little bit helps.” He decided to walk with them a few hundred meters. They said to him, “Your generation have led the wrong life!”
He asked if that was an accusation. “No, not really, “the girl replied, “We think that you were not even aware of how badly you have cared for the planet and our nature. Success, growth, money, possessions – that was your god – and it still is for the majority.”
The columnist replied, “So this demonstration is about much more than climate.”
“Yes, that’s right ... and that’s why you should join in!”
Living the wrong life. What a statement, what an indictment.
In 2012 father and son Sidelsky wrote a much discussed book with the title, ‘How Much is Enough’. The Skidelsky’s maintain that:
- Capitalism has intensified insatiability by inflaming status-driven consumption.
- Economics provides an intellectual barrier to change, due to its emphasis is on efficiency at all cost.
- The social importance of efficiency, and thus of economics, has declined.
- And that Economic policy is not contributing to ‘the good life’.
Their goal is to persuade the reader that the good life does exist and can be known, and that we ought to strive to live it.
There is too much luxury and too much inequality in our society. Many of us spend too much of our time labouring away so that, in the words of Will Smith, “we can buy things that we don’t need, to impress people we don’t like with money we don’t have!” We should concentrate much less on making money, and much more on cultivating the things that matter – the ‘good life.’
In the introductory chapter the authors explain that this also has consequences for economic policy, since its main goal – economic growth – does not necessarily contribute to the good life – quite the reverse: growth does not make us happier and is environmentally disastrous.
The Sidelskys construct radical policy recommendations. They include opting out of the system of world trade; ending economic growth; eliminating almost all advertising; increasing consumption taxes; and restoring belief in religion.
Maybe it’s time to look at this again!
Take a look at my latest book, called “The Flow,” in which I contrast the economy of the Kingdom of God with our world economy. I give some suggestions how to influence the world economy with the principles of the God’s economy!
Learning to live and work out of God’s economy will bring the good life … and preserve our environment as God intended! Oder here for a special intro price of only € 11,95.