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Discuss ; Capitalism Is Mother Earth’s Cancer

The world is being buffeted by multiple global crises that manifest themselves into a climate, financial, food, energy, institutional, cultural, ethical and spiritual crises. These are the manifestations of unbridled consumerism and a model of society where the human being claims to be superior to Mother Earth. It is a system characterized by the domination of the economy by gigantic trans-national corporations whose targets are the accumulation of power and benefits, and for which the market values are more important than the lives of human beings and Mother Earth. —Evo Morales, President of Bolivia, in Deidre Fulton, “Capitalism Is Mother Earth’s Cancer”1
The myth of this century permeating both Canadian and global consciousness is the myth of economic growth. It is central to Canadian consciousness, breeding the same response, the same mindset, and a pervasive concept of truth as produced within a singular worldview. This myth reaches the core of the evolution of Canada itself. Economics as a field has us blindly believing that corporations really do have the same status as human beings and places extraordinary belief in the invisible hand of the markets and the playing out of competition as the reason for social inequality and poverty. This global economic myth requires us to blindly believe that there is no credible alternative to the current global economic system. This myth frames for humanity a singular narrative that growth is good, necessary, positive, and natural, and that it is the definitive Global economic growth is set to slow dramatically answer and solution to progress and development. This is the illusion. The heart of this myth must be viewed through the illusory current state of national and global economics. It is well documented in recent years that the rate of global economic growth has slowed substantially.
A 2015 McKinsey Global Analytics report sets a serious warning: “Without action, global economic growth will almost halve in the next 50 years.”2 It notes that economic growth has been exceptionally rapid over the last 50 years, but that there is no consensus on prospects for the next 50 years.
This global economic downturn is an outcome of its own worldview. The 2008 economic crash set in motion the framing of a new narrative and approach to the global economy that aimed at the very center of economics itself. At the heart of this warning is the shaping of the emerging “new economy” as an alternative future that is based on measurements beyond GDP and focused on human well-being and ecological balance. This is a time of calling out both the state of and experience of the global economy system. A report on regenerative economy by the Capital Institute makes a fundamental point: “The current global reality is pressing up against social, environmental and economic collapse. The world needs to move beyond the standard choices of capitalism or socialism.”3 It further  emphasized that the world economic system is closely related to and dependent upon the environment: “The failure of modern economic theory to acknowledge this reality has had profound consequences, not the least of which is global climate change.”4
The article “Beyond Capitalism and Socialism” highlights a key point that the post-2008 global economic crash saw an emergence of viewing economics through a new lens as a way to address this economic growth myth— mainly, economic growth and dependency on the environment cannot exist in siloes. Economics is converging upon itself— a product of its own worldview.5 The failure of modern economic theory to acknowledge this reality has had profound consequences, not the least of which is global climate change. The consequences of this economic worldview are vast and far reaching, encompassing a host of challenges that range from climate change to political instability.6
Economic Distortion: Addressing Dysfunctionality in the New Economy
In the words of Indigenous leader President Evo Morales, past president of Bolivia: The world is being buffeted by multiple global crisis that manifests itself in a climate, financial, food, energy, institutional, cultural, ethical and spiritual crisis. These are the manifestations of unbridled consumerism and a model of society where the human being claims to be superior to Mother Earth… It is a system characterized by the domination of the economy by gigantic trans-national corporations whose targets are the accumulation of power and benefits, and for which the market values are more important than the lives of human beings and Mother Earth.7
This is an honest reflection that points to the global economic crisis humanity is facing and calls out the foundation of economic dysfunction. It is from this questioning of economic power structures and pending collapse that a new economic movement has emerged— a paradigm shift so powerful as to redefine economy, to shift from destruction to construction, and facilitate a return to human values. What a powerful rendition of experience Fulton describes as caused from “the manifestions of unbridled consumerism.” From within the dominant economic worldview stems the fragmentation of reality, separateness, and isolation that originates with the divergence from the unity of life— the very cause of economic dysfunction. It is this response to the economic dysfunction that has caused the uprising of the new regenerative economy movement.
The term new economy is broad reaching and can first be examined through the lens of what it does not do. The new economy does not accept the orthodox neoclassical theory that dominates economics: “Humans are perfectly rational, markets are perfectly efficient, institutions are optimally designed and economies are self-correcting equilibrium systems that invariably find a state that maximizes social welfare.”8

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