QotD: June 3rd, 2006 (Growth Fetish Week)

From “Growth Fetish”, by Clive Hamilton:

“Democracy itself is subtly undermined by the refusal to consider the nature of power and the glib assumption that ultimate power lies in unfettered consumption behaviour. Democracy asserts itself when great issues that demand collective decisions grip a nation. In practice, governments represent the people best when they are protecting the people’s rights against threats from the powerful and providing for things that are best provided collectively — defence, roads, schooling, health care and environmental protection. The act of collective provision is something that citizens do for one another. In contrast with the comatose sovereign consumer of neoliberalism, democracy needs something to do. By ceding so much decision making to the private choices of consumers in markets, electors have been transformed into political automatons.”