How much is enough?

In his essay ‘Economic possibilities for our grandchildren’, in 1930, the British economist John Maynard Keynes predicted that within a century industrialized societies have progressed so far that its technological advances allow people to live comfortably, with little need for work, and that provide happiness.

A quite enthusiastic Keynes predicted that industrialization would result in human happiness —Photo Unknown Author

Almost a century later and taking that essay as a starting point, Robert Skidelsky, economic historian and biographer reputed creator of Keynesianism, published with his son and philosopher Edward the book ‘How much is enough?’, which reflect on the current economic system and society away from the concept of ‘good life’, something that humans have tried profiling over time, from classical Greece to Christianity or Marxism.

According to the book, strong progress and improvement in living conditions that followed World War II were twisted in the 80’s, when Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher set economic growth as an end in itself and not as a means of achieving the good life of the people. That growth indicator, which does not take into account other citizen concerns such as health, leisure or the environment, had a quick and decisive victory over the other end of the economy due to the dramatic increase in the standard of living of the decades of 60 and 70 and proximity to full employment in Western societies. ‘In these circumstances, the economic thought was free to concentrate on the efficiency of the production efficiency.’

A few thousand US dollars —Photo Unknown Author

The good life, as opposed to happiness —something private and psychological, not always connected to the living conditions—, for Skidelsky is based on a number of basic elements that the state should promote, while it is for citizens to enjoy and develop full: health, security —physical or economic—, respect, personality —freedom to act autonomously—, harmony with nature, friendship —bond with others— and leisure —what is done for its own sake, not out of obligation or an end—.

The authors are optimistic about the future. Faced with the confusion between need and desire that seems to dominate, proposed ethical renewal, more social policies and reducing the pressure to consume or altering advertising freedom to choose. They believe that we are now better prepared than ever for the good life: we are materially better than in the 30s and knowledge is accessible to many more people, two factors that combined with the ethical awakening can make this economic crisis could leave advanced societies in a better starting position than Keynes in 1930.

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array(4) { [0]=> object(WP_Post)#1667 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(3227) ["post_author"]=> string(4) "2049" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2012-10-22 00:01:19" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2012-10-21 22:01:19" ["post_content"]=> string(1469) "'Podemos aniquilarnos perfectamente, y antes yo lo veía imposible'. Fundador de Natura, empresa especializada en la comercialización de productos exóticos procedentes de distintos rincones del mundo. A los 20 años de su apertura existen tiendas en Alemania, Andorra, España, Francia, Italia y Portugal, y la compañía es reconocida como 'socialmente responsable' por el trato con sus trabajadores, su apoyo económico a diferentes ONG a través del Premio Natura y sus líneas de productos textiles de comercio justo y producción orgánica. En su afán de transparencia y sinceridad, Sergio decidió publicar en 2007 el libro 'Yo creé Natura, ¿y?', en el que reflexiona sobre lo que él considera que ha aprendido en su aventura empresarial.'We can perfectly annihilate ourselves, and before I saw it impossible'. Founder of Natura, a company specializing in the marketing of exotic products from different corners of the world. At 20 years of opening stores exist in Germany, Andorra, Spain, France, Italy and Portugal, and the company is recognized as 'socially responsible' for his dealings with his workers, its economic support to different NGOs through the Natura Award and its lines of fair trade textiles and organic production. In the interests of transparency and honesty, Sergio decided to publish the book in 2007 'I created Natura, so?', in which he reflects on what he believes he has learned in his venture." ["post_title"]=> string(114) "WHAT ABOUT: El futuro por Sergio DuranyWHAT ABOUT: The future by Sergio Durany" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(38) "what-about-the-future-by-sergio-durany" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2021-05-05 17:56:59" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2021-05-05 15:56:59" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(29) "http://whatonline.org/?p=3227" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [1]=> object(WP_Post)#1662 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(2232) ["post_author"]=> string(4) "2055" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2012-05-28 00:04:03" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2012-05-27 22:04:03" ["post_content"]=> string(6613) "La no violencia activa es una táctica de protesta, relacionada con la desobediencia civil, que propugna el logro de un cambio político, social y cultural revolucionario sin necesidad del empleo de la violencia. El término se acuña en los años 30 y 40 del siglo XX con el movimiento de independencia indio liderado por Mahatma Gandhi, que a su vez se inspiró en León Tolstói, con quien incluso mantuvo correspondencia, y en el escritor y filósofo estadounidense Henry D. Thoreau. Aunque ha habido numerosos ejemplos posteriores y bien conocidos, como Martin Luther King y Jesse Jackson en Estados Unidos, la revolución de los claveles en Portugal o el sindicato Solidaridad de Lech Walesa en Polonia, también existen sólidos éxitos anteriores en la aplicación de estos métodos: los finlandeses consiguieron mayor autonomía de la Rusia zarista en 1905, Hungría se independizó de Austria en 1867 y los plebeyos romanos se rebelaron contra los patricios por sus derechos como ciudadanos, en la que quizá sea la lucha sin violencia original. W_novecento
Las luchas plebeyas suponen el origen de las huelgas generales, que tan bien retrató el cineasta Bernardo Bertolucci en su película 'Novecento' —'El cuarto Estado', Giuseppe Pellizza da Volpedo, 1901
La lucha plebeya consistió en realidad en varios episodios, conocidos como Secessio plebis —Secesión de los plebeyos—, que sucedieron entre el año 494 y el 287 aC, siendo los más importantes el primero y el último. En el año 494 aC organizaron una especie de huelga general que paralizó la ciudad y amenazaron con crear una nueva comunidad independiente en el Monte Sacro, a las afueras de Roma. La protesta culminó con un acuerdo, conocido como Lex duodecim tabularum —Ley de las XII tablas—, que contenía evidentes mejoras para la vida de la plebe y pasa por ser el origen del Derecho Romano. En el año 287 aC paralizaron de nuevo la ciudad y volvieron a echarse al monte, esta vez al Monte Aventino, y el Senado de la República terminó aceptando las decisiones de la asamblea de la plebe —plebis scitum— como contenido válido para crear leyes, por encima incluso de la voluntad de los legisladores. W_banksyflowers
Se puede luchar con flores —'Flower Thrower', Banksy, 2005
Active non-violence is a protest tactic, related to civil disobedience, which calls for a revolutionary politic, social and cultural change without the use of violence. The term was coined in the 30s and 40s of the XXth century with the Indian independent movement led by Mahatma Gandhi, which in turn was inspired by Leo Tolstoy, to whom he even wrote letters, and the American writer and philosopher Henry D. Thoreau. Although there have been numerous later and well-known examples such as Martin Luther King and Jesse Jackson in the United States, the Carnation Revolution in Portugal or the Solidarity Union of Lech Walesa in Poland, there are also solid past success in the application of these methods: Finns won greater autonomy from the Tsarist Russia en 1905, Hungary’s independence from Austria in 1867 and Roman commoners revolted against the patricians for their citizens rights in what it may be the first non-violence fight. W_novecento
The plebeian struggles suppose the origin of the general strikes, which the filmmaker Bernardo Bertolucci portrayed so well in his film 'Novecento' —'The Fourth State', Giuseppe Pellizza da Volpedo, 1901
The commoner fight actually consisted in several episodes known as Secessio Plebis —Commoner’s Secession— which happened between 394 and 287 BC, the most important being the first and the last. In the year 494 BC, they organized a kind of general strike which paralyzed the city and threatened to create a new independent community in the Monte Sacro, on the outskirts of Rome. The protest culminated in an agreement, known as Lex Duodecim Tabularum —Law of the XII Tables—, which contained obvious improvements for peoples’ life and it is considered as the origin of Roman Law. In 287 BC they paralyzed the city again and took the mountains again, these time the Monte Aventino, and the Senate finally accepted the commoner’s decisions —plebis scitum— as a valid content to create laws, even above legislators’ will. W_banksyflowers
You can fight with flowers —'Flower Thrower', Banksy, 2005
" ["post_title"]=> string(92) "Nadie manda si nadie obedeceNo one rules if no one obeys" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(28) "no-one-rules-if-no-one-obeys" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2021-03-24 14:22:10" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2021-03-24 13:22:10" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(29) "http://whatonline.org/?p=2232" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "2" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [2]=> object(WP_Post)#1668 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(4687) ["post_author"]=> string(4) "2049" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2013-04-29 00:01:44" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2013-04-28 22:01:44" ["post_content"]=> string(3706) "'El futuro es una vuelta al feudalismo'. Doctor en sociología, está especializado en etnografía urbana. Con más de 15 años de experiencia en investigación cualitativa tanto en Nueva York como internacionalmente, es autor y coautor de de numerosos artículos y estudios. Su tesis doctoral consistió en un estudio comparativo titulado 'Sobreviviendo a la educación secundaria: explorando el impacto de la violencia y el crimen en la experiencia académica de inmigrantes y americanos'. En el Vera Institute of Justice, con el doctor Mercer Sullivan como mentor y una beca de Instituto Nacional de Justicia de Estados Unidos, investigó sobre la relación de las razas con la violencia adolescente, las bandas y la inmigración. En colaboración con el el criminólogo Rob Davis exploró la relación entre la policía y la comunidad y sus efectos en las denuncias civiles. En 2000 entró en el NDRI —National Disease Research Interchange— como investigador asociado en dos proyectos del NIH —National Institutes of Health— liderados por el Dr Samuel R. Friedman: 'Redes, normas y riesgo de SIDA en la juventud' y 'Factores sociales y riesgo de SIDA'. Ambos proyectos exploran las relaciones entre adictos, distribuidores, policía y otros actores de la comunidad, y cómo estas afectan a los resultados sobre salud y crimen. También ha sido investigador en un proyecto del NIDA —National Institute on Drug Abuse— cuyo objetivo es ayudar a los adictos a establecer estrategias para mantenerse alejados del SIDA y la hepatitis C; el proyecto contó además con una red de colaboradores en Londres, Sydney, Valencia y Vancouver. Actualmente, Pedro es investigador principal en un proyecto del NIDA que analiza el riesgo de SIDA y hepatitis C asociado al uso sin prescripción médica de opioides.'The future is a return to feudalism'. PhD in sociology, specialized in urban ethnography. With over 15 years experience in qualitative research both in New York City and internationally, he is first author and co-author of numerous peer reviewed publications and reports. His doctoral dissertation was a comparative study titled 'Street ethos: surviving High School that explored the impact of violence and crime on the academic experience of immigrants and American-born students'. At the Vera Institute of Justice, mentored by Dr Mercer Sullivan, he was the principal investigator of a National Institute of Justice grant that focused on race theory as it relates to adolescent violence, gangs and immigration. In collaboration with criminologist Rob Davis he explored the relationship between police and the community and its effect on civilian complaints. In 2000, he joined NDRI —National Disease Research Interchange— as a principal research associate for two NIH —National Institutes of Health— projects led by Samuel R. Friedman, PhD: 'Networks, norms and HIV risk among youth' and 'Social factors and HIV risk'. Both projects explored interactions among drug users, dealers, police and other community actors and how they relate to various health and crime outcomes. He was also principal investigator on a NIDA —National Institute on Drug Abuse— developmental project aimed at training injector drug users in strategies to avoid HIV and HCV infections, 'Staying safe: training IDUs in strategies to avoid HIV and HCV'. A consortium of researchers in London, Sydney, Valencia, and Vancouver collaborated in parallel 'Staying safe' studies. He is currently principal investigator on an NIDA funded R01 that explores HIV, HCV and STI risk associated with nonmedical use of prescription opioids." ["post_title"]=> string(128) "WHAT ABOUT: El futuro por Pedro Mateu-GelabertWHAT ABOUT: The future by Pedro Mateu-Gelabert" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(45) "what-about-the-future-by-pedro-mateu-gelabert" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2021-05-05 15:02:58" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2021-05-05 13:02:58" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(29) "http://whatonline.org/?p=4687" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [3]=> object(WP_Post)#1802 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(6783) ["post_author"]=> string(4) "2049" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2014-07-07 00:01:50" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2014-07-06 22:01:50" ["post_content"]=> string(1130) "'Para cambiar algo a nivel social, lo primero es cambiar a nivel personal'. Co-fundador de OuiShare —comunidad global que anima a ciudadanos, instituciones públicas y empresas a construir una sociedad más colaborativa—, investiga, escribe, habla y enseña sobre el poder de la colaboración y el compartir. También trabaja como estratega de innovación para empresas, gobiernos y organismos públicos con el objetivo de ayudarles a adaptarse al cambio causado por el poder de compartir y la colaboración a través de las tecnologías en red.'To change something on a social level, the first thing is to change on a personal level'. Co-founder of OuiShare —a global community empowering citizens, public institutions and companies to build a collaborative society—, he researches, writes, speaks and teaches on the power of collaboration and sharing. He also works as an innovation strategist for companies, governments and public agencies aiming to embrace the disruption caused by the power of sharing and collaboration through network technologies." 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