This week I’ve been reading Samuel Alexander’s book Entropia. It’s kind of like Richard Heinberg’s The End of Growth rewritten as a fictionalised version of the Cuban oil crisis, in the style of William Morris’ News from Nowhere. It is ostensibly fiction, but it’s more of a philosophical treatise on sustainability and simplicity.
I shall review it when I’ve finished, but this paragraph jumped out at me as I was reading it in the park over lunch today:
“Human beings only have a limited amount of time and energy with which to live their lives. It follows that the more time and energy a society dedicates to the pursuit of material wealth, the less it will have for other things, such as community or political engagement. Taken to its extreme, such a society may end up extremely affluent, but comprising individuals who are alienated, disengaged and lonely – and not so rich at all.
Similarly, the more important affluence is to individuals or societies, the less willing they will be to share wealth for reasons of social justice, and the less willing they will be to voluntarily limit consumption for the sake of environmental health. It follows that a just and sustainable society cannot be a society dedicated to the never-ending pursuit of affluence, but must instead be based on material sufficiency.”
Interesting observations. Perhaps this is what Jesus was getting at when he said the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.