Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The tragedy of modern economic growth: A call to business to radically change its purpose and practices

Johnson, Thomas (2017): The tragedy of modern economic growth: A call to business to radically change its purpose and practices.

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Abstract

It is now clear that endlessly growing consumption of resources in the global human economy imperils Earth’s life-sustaining biosystem and threatens human existence as we know it. Long-term sustainability of human and non-human life can be achieved only by creating an entirely new economy that eschews the current economy’s pursuit of continuous growth and concentrates, instead, on re-focusing human activities from the global to the local level in organizations that exist to fulfill genuine and concrete human and non-human needs, not to maximize financial wealth of corporations, their shareholders and their top managers. However, impeding this move to a new economy is the widespread belief that “accounting is the language of business.” This article proposes that the concrete ecological principles underlying Earth’s life-restorative natural ecosystems provide a much more appropriate language to guide a sustainable human economy than the abstract language of accounting and finance.

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