If de-growth changes everything, it changes politics, and it changes public priorities

This comment by Tim Morgan in his recent blog hits various nails on their heads:

Current Western leadership looks lamentably poor. As a general proposition, we’d probably have to go back to the 1930s and appeasement to find an equivalently-bad set of Western governments and leaders, and even then we might want to give FDR a better rating.

But part of this is because these people (and their advisers) have no idea what’s really happening, an ignorance seemingly shared across much of business and finance. They seem to think that the economy is growing, and will carry on doing so. Nobody grasps the reality that two eras are ending – 200 years of assured growth, and 40 years of the “liberal” economic consensus.

Just as peace and war need different attributes, and tend to produce different ideas and different leaders, we may be still in need of, and may yet find, leaders suited to the post-growth world.

Asking whether Trump or Biden, Johnson or Starmer (and so on) can lead effectively in these radically new circumstances is like asking if a distinguished soccer coach could manage a baseball team.

If de-growth changes everything, it changes politics, and it changes public priorities – at least, let’s hope so!

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