Monday, April 2, 2012

Decision-making based on use-values

An interesting article in the recent issue of The Guardian, 'Bhutan rails against world's "suicidal path"' is worth a read, not because Bhutan has decided that money won't be used in its economy but because it makes concerted efforts to reduce and control the way money operates. What marks out Bhutan from the pack of other nations is that as a small country that is poor in monetary (exchange value) terms, it is achieving social and environmental gains by stressing social and environmental goals and policies rather than economic ones.

Bhutan's prime minister has just told the UN:

[Our] measures of progress and GNH index clearly show that producing and consuming more stuff does not make people happier. On the contrary when they overwork and go into debt to buy ever more goods and pay the bills, they get more stressed. Working, producing and consuming less is not only good for nature but gives us more time to enjoy each others...  Instead of progress [the world] has perilously accelerated ecosystem decline. Humanity is now using up natural resources at a 35% faster rate than nature can regenerate. This ecological destruction is not separate from global economic realities that are dividing rich from poor...

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