GDP as a real indicator of progress is one of the biggest fallacies in our society

An interview...


Unai Pascual and Gorka Castillo

Market-based governance is so entrenched that intrinsic and relational values always end up losing out. And with them, biodiversity and the sustainability of life. The dominance of the short-sighted view of nature is largely underpinned by the short-sighted neoliberal system, its free market ideology and the mantra of economic growth. Couple this with GDP, as real indicator of economic progress and the compass of a policy that only considers goods and services that pass through the market, and we have a problem because it is one of the biggest fallacies in our society. Nature has many other well-being values that are not traded on its markets, but that bring us well-being. And if we unbalance these values in our decision-making, we automatically break the balance in our relationship with the environment. We are not aware that in addition to living from nature, we also live with it, in it and even like it. Unfortunately, only the first option takes precedence in economic and political decision-making. For this reason, we consider it essential to focus on institutions and how they influence us when it comes to understanding what progress means. To do so, we had to question the role of the actors who hold the levers of power and impose certain values on others. Thus, we dissected the system in layers as if it were an onion until we reached the core of the issue, the socio-ecological crisis, the underlying causes that provoke the accelerated degradation of nature that we are suffering. It was the only way to say to the representatives of states and civil society in general: "Here lies the problem. So let's discuss values and find fair solutions".


For a full read of this essay, click here or on the picture to download the pdf file.

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