It’s strange, isn’t it? The ideology of capitalism is that it is a system that generates immense abundance (so much stuff!) But in reality it is a system that relies on the constant production of scarcity.
This logic reaches its apogee in the contemporary vision of austerity. What is austerity, really? It is a desperate attempt to re-start the engines of growth by slashing public investment in social goods and social protections, chopping away at what remains of the commons so that people are cast once again at the mercy of starvation, forced to increase their productivity if they want to survive. The point of austerity is to create scarcity. Suffering – indeed, poverty – must be induced for the sake of more growth.
What a wonderful, clear and accessible piece on the basic origins of capitalism! No, Virginia, we don’t have to read Marx - or Piketty’s corruption of Marx - to get this stuff. Hickel is an anthropologist for pete’s sake, not an "economist’. Just wonderful!
PS: though this is longer than a Tweet, I bet some of our Kongress Kritters - at least those who could call themselves ‘progressives’ - could get this. If they kept their thumbs off their phones that is. Oh, never mind…