QotD: June 19th, 2006

From “Growth Fetish”, by Clive Hamilton:

“One of the many benefits of this eudemonistic program is that it will encourage a reinvigoration of democracy. People are demoralised and marginalised from the political process. Daily they are told that the economy is too complex and important to be ruled by the ignorant masses and that decisions must be left to experts who understand the intricacies of the system. There is, however, deep disquiet about leaving it to the experts, not least because the experts have been promising bliss for a long time, generating a growing and disturbing cynicism. Yet, as long as the economy remains paramount, there is no alternative but to leave it to the experts. When the economy is cut down to size — the size justified by its contribution to wellbeing — people will feel their voice counts once again and they will be freed to participate in democratic processes at every level, including the international level. In these circumstances, we can expect a flowering of civic culture, in which political ideas — for decades suppressed by the market’s intolerance of the unorthodox — can once again be debated around the dinner tables and in the bars of every town.”