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De Long's Slouching Toward Utopia
Not yet a week and on the NYT bestseller list. It is really good and highly recommended except….. The book is a wonderful helpful well written intelligent detailed view of the 20th century, highly recommended but…. be careful.
The book takes the view that we ought to be reaching utopia through the right action of market, technology, and finance. .. in short through growth. The book is really a history of what got in the way of the growth scenario reaching its capacity to make a better society. But he only considers one path to utopia, growth.
There are problems with this. Climate change is one, obviously. The growth economy and temperature rising go together and there is no plausible scenario where a major growth trajectory and a serious analysis of temperature rise don’t go together.
What the book does by treating growth as what has the key narrative of what happened all along, but not enough is to avoid other approaches, keeps us from imagining different kinds of economy, such as a serious shift toward localization, and an economy that, for example, lets people associate but gives them no status in law beyond that to what we have now, “corporations”. from corps and “incorporations” of course, body (dead).* Such a change would have system-wide consequences the book doe not help us imagine. One drumbeat - growth tech finance. Brilliant, helpful but limiting.