Mental Infrastructures: How Growth Entered the World and Our Souls

Mental Infrastructures: How Growth Entered the World and Our Souls

cover mental infrastructures
by
Harald Welzer
Heinrich Böll Stiftung
For free
Place of Publication: Berlin
Date of Publication: April 2011
Number of Pages: 42
License: CC-BY-NC-ND
ISBN: 978-3-86928-060-8

In light of the recent ecological, financial and economic crisis, criticizing the all-powerful paradigm of economic growth is necessary. But growth as will and representation not only pervades corporate headquarters, stock exchanges and ministries, but also our heads. Material goods no longer serve just our basic needs for food, housing, health, education and vitality. Indeed, they shape our sense of belonging and identity. The idea of endless growth has been embedded in our emotional and cognitive lives since the Industrial Revolution. Economic innovations won’t be sufficient to make economy and society sustainable. The essay of Harald Welzer is a piece of enlightenment at its best. It makes the mechanisms and principles distinct on which our ideals and wishes are based, and clears the way for change.

 

Table of contents: 

7 Preface and introduction

10 Growth as mental infrastructure

13 From external constraint to self-constraint

16 Infinite growth

19 Energy and mobility

22 Work and growth

24 Finite resources and death

26 The global and flexible personality

28 Consumerism – what products say about us

31 The locked-in effect

33 What is the meaning of "transforming the carbon-based society"?

36 How would we like to have lived?

39 Bibliography

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