While I was sitting in the lobby of a La Quinta Hotel in Canton, Ohio, last week, a debate between candidates running for a Senate seat in Florida was being broadcast on CNN. Marco Rubio, one of the candidates said, "The natural (emphasis added) state of the economy is to grow. If it is not growing, there is something hindering its growth, and we need to find out what that is and fix it."
This is in stark contradiction to what Professor Princen, in a panel discussion at the Law School last year, talked about. He laid out the idea of sufficiency. He gave the example of human growth and viewing the Earth from space. He said that humans only grow (generally) to a certain size, and over time, we go from being small children to fully grown adults. Our growth stops (maybe not girth); we are fully developed, maybe mentally and physically definitely. When we look at the Earth from space, what we see is not an overflowing, unbound teeming of life, but the finiteness of the space in which all life as we know exists - the thin layer of atmosphere, the brown of the land and the blue of oceans. Yet for some reason we think that within the finiteness of our Earth, we can grow, materially and monetarily, unboundedly.
A comment from my post On definitions and development said,
"Your comment on the meaning we put in the word "development" made me think of human development, as in a baby developing into a child, teenager, and then adult. That kind of development is following a line of growth that is already put into place, natural, and essential for that human to be able to explore and manifest all of his or her individual gifts, traits, and qualities. If only we thought of the world this way - development is not to get all we can out of it, but rather to cultivate it along the lines of what it is naturally made to be - and in so doing experience all the wonders it can produce - just as, I assume, a parent experiences when seeing a child enjoy and excel in one of his or her natural talents."
Is there a natural course of our existence, with all that we have invested in "humanity?"