Jason Hickel: The “economy” is ultimately our material relationship with each other and with the rest of the world

Yes, it can be said that simply.

Our economic system is based on the assumption that nature is infinite, that it has infinite resources and an infinite capacity to absorb the waste of civilization.

That assumption made somewhat sense in the past when we were far fewer and had simpler technology.

Today, with a huge number of people and a much more efficient technology, it’s clearly ecocidal and suicidal. It will be our downfall unless we change it, and that change has to be thorough and profound.

Said another way, assuming an infinite Earth leads to an economy based on extraction and exploitation. What’s easy and attractive to do, for individuals and organizations, is also what’s destructive for nature, ourselves, and future generations.

Transforming our economy to take ecological realities into account leads to an economy based on reciprocity and care. We can create an economic system where what’s easy and attractive to do also supports life – nature, ourselves, and future generations.

It’s not only possible, it’s essential that we do it if we want to survive.

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