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The Limits to Growth

An extraordinary event took place in Italy, four days before the Spanish General Elections on Sunday. Last Wednesday, Italy constituted a new, post-Berlusconi government composed entirely of non-politicians. I have a feeling that Italy might be on to something good here and could well set an example for other countries currently struggling to combat the doldrums. Why could Spain, where none of the two big parties has really any credibility left and where none of the tried and tested politicians has much political clout any longer, why shouldn’t Spain agree to form a cross-party, non-partisan coalition of creative minds, visionaries, great intellects and specialists? Why shouldn’t Spain be governed by a Think Tank?

Perhaps it is time to accept that there are limits to our growth, just as was corroborated in 1972 by the Club of Rome. Perhaps exponential growth is no longer the only possible objective. Perhaps our children do come first, and their off-spring. Perhaps we finally need to introduce some modesty, contentment, morality, austerity and gratitude into our lives to expect similar qualities from our non-party-political leaders. Spain might be out of the recession sooner than we now can fathom, and Europe with it. All it would take, would be some unconventional wisdom, some unorthodox approach to the world financial structure, some determination and some hope.

I know, some chance. Things will get worse before they can get better, here in Spain.

The image shown above is an early Spanish map from German cartographer, Donnus Nicolaus Germanus (born ca. 1420; died ca. 1490), courtesy of (New York Public Library). Herr Germanus lived in Florence, Italy, and worked for the Vatican.

Thank you very much.

2 replies »

  1. An awesome blog. Maybe this (‘think tank’, ‘children first’ etc.) will not happen, but to throw it out there might just connect with a few and who knows what the result might be. Western democracy and economics seem to be tired. Either we all roll over or something new comes. Thanks for the provocation.

  2. I do so agree with you Klaus. Have been thinking and saying things much along these lines for ages.

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November 2011


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