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Capitalism is a means to an end


In your new book you argue that capitalism has inflamed our innate tendency to insatiability. Can you elaborate on this?


You could say capitalism is a means to an end, the end being lifting humanity out of poverty in order to enable it to lead the good life. That’s the essential point. The idea that we grow forever and ever seems to me a form of insanity because economic growth is, after all, only a means to wellbeing. The difficult question is: Can we say that at any point we reached a state of wellbeing which enables us to let off further growth?


I think people nowadays, especially politicians, use a metaphor of a race. ‘We must keep in the race’, they say. But of course races come to an end. You don’t go on racing forever and ever. Just think of a marathon that goes on and on. I think that’s inappropriate; a race comes to an end when we’ve got enough. How much is enough?

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