The idea that an economy can grow at will is something that seems inconceivable to me. The news are always speaking about GDP growth: if it doesn’t grow enough, then there is something wrong. Consumerism and always wanting more and more is what drives this process of growth. Quoting from the film The Age of Stupid: “Capitalism’s only goal is ever expanding growth, but ever expanding growth on just one not expanding planet is impossible”.
Most of the people in developing countries want to be exactly like that, they want to emulate the U. S. Be rich, have big cars, live in big houses. This is linked to the idea that success and money are the only important things in life. This philosophy of life is probably mainstream in U.S. but I think it is deeply flawed: owning things does not bring happiness.
Always active, always on the go, no time for thinking because we are busy doing. And even when on holiday there is no relax: boredom is the only result of inaction. A restless mind cannot change its pace at will, and will try to find something to do even when it should be resting. In a world flooded by information, social networks, etc… more importance should be given to quality than quantity. Quality of human relationships, of readings, of thoughts. There are things in which more is worse. I think it is a bit Zen or minimalist. Favoring deepness to broadness.
What I see, from my humble and small point of view, is that people tend to be too busy working out the details of their choices to be bothered with the great picture. They probably do not see the effects of their actions. Is this behavior of selfishness? Is it “Game Theoretical”? Caring only of one’s profit disregarding the global state of affairs? Is this a different incarnation of the tragedy of commons?
I put also myself in this folk. I was stuck in my own small problems. But as I gain more experience, I am changing my mind on many topics. Now I am starting to consider a broader view. Making money and accumulating stuff is not the goal of life (not of my life, anyway).