Futuribles Journal n° 355

Économie, emploi - Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement

Finish off Capitalism or Die. On Bernard Perret's Book Le Capitalisme est-il durable? (Is Capitalism Sustainable?)


Predating the current economic crisis, the ecological crisis besetting modern societies probably marks the death knell of the productivist capitalist system. This is the general idea developed by Bernard Perret in a recent work entitled Le Capitalisme est-il durable? [Is Capitalism Sustainable?] (Paris: Carnets Nord, 2008). Perret argues that what is termed “economic growth” is based on cheap energy, the accumulation of material goods and the destruction of natural ecosystems. If we do not put an end to this blind, headlong rush, society is heading for destruction. It has, therefore, become essential to put sustainable development at the heart of the economic system, writes Perret, in order to bring the notion of “economizing” back into economics. In his view, this involves a return to a planning orchestrated to this end by the public authorities: the aim must be to be more efficient by consuming less, to set a goal for economic actors and, above all, to give the survival of humanity precedence over the logic of the market.
Jean-Claude Val has read Bernard Perret’s book for Futuribles and reviews its main ideas here. The situation is serious, but not, perhaps, hopeless…

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