Growth is Destructive
The growth I am referring to here is economic growth, usually measured as the GNP. An almost mystical meaning has been attached to this number; it would be no exaggeration to say that we worship it. But it is nothing more than our obsession to have more, more, more. But as a result we have ended up with less, less, less – especially less of ourselves.
This is not hard to understand, when you look at what actually happened. America is a textbook case. Before the White Men came, it was as rich in natural resources as a land could be. But this was only considered wilderness by them, and they proceeded to destroy it and convert it into something useful, such as farmland. Ecologically, this was a disaster – but they had no sense of ecology, only of profit. And they pursued that single-mindedly.
These people are now called pioneers, but for the people already here they were simply destroyers – of them, especially. Some of the richest ecosystems on earth were destroyed completely. Eventually a few wilderness areas were preserved – mainly because they had little economic value. These pioneers did not feel guilty at all – quite to the contrary, they felt proud of themselves for developing the land. The only regrets they had was that they could not develop it faster.
This mindset was, and is, crucial – something we should be striving to understand. But we cannot, because it also destroyed the mindset that proceeded it – the beginning of the Modern world that we call the Renaissance and Humanism. The details of this destruction are complicated, and include the Reformation and the Enlightenment. But the effects of the final result, the Industrial Revolution, were clear enough – we were turned into destroyers, through and through. And we thought this was normal behavior.
What I have described is what happened in Northern Europe, but what happened in Southern Europe was no better. The people who discovered and exploited the New World were some of the most ruthless in history. Latin America will never recover from their heritage.
To put this another way, a new kind of person was created that was not human, but something else we cannot even comprehend. But whatever they are, they are not interested in knowing about themselves. As I said in the beginning, they just want more.
Ironically, they ended up with less – for a simple reason: because their exploitation had destroyed the natural resources they had plundered – especially their human resources.