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Max Neef: "The neoliberal economy kills more people than all the armies in the world combined, and there are no accused, there are no prisoners"

Max Neef:

The economist and former presidential candidate Manfred Max Neef questioned the obsession with growth generated by the neoliberal economy, which in his opinion is "a tremendously dangerous and brutal failure" and responsible for a large part "of all the horrors that we are living in. the world".

In an interview conducted by En Torno magazine, the author of the human-scale development thesis stated that "this neoliberal economy kills more people than all the armies in the world put together, and there is no accused, there is no prisoner, there is no no condemned. All the horrors that we are seeing in the world, most of them, have a background that is anchored to this vision of treatment and economic practice. "

And he emphasized that "the obsession with growth, to begin with, is nonsense. Because an elementary natural law, which everyone knows, is that all living systems grow to a certain point where they stop growing. You stopped growing, I stopped growing, the big tree stops growing, but it does not stop developing. Continue forcing growth to consume more and continue producing an infinite amount of unnecessary things, generating one of the most powerful institutions in the world, such as advertising. , whose function is one and very clear: to make you buy what you don't need, with money you don't have, to impress those you don't know. That obviously cannot be sustainable. "

For Max Neef it is not an unsolvable problem. And that is why he believes that the alternative is "the vision of the ecological economy", since "unlike the traditional economy, the ecological economy is an economy that is at the service of life and has characteristics fundamentally opposed to the conventional one."

On this point he explained that "conventional economics -which is the daughter of neoclassical economics- from an ontological vision, is based on a mechanical, Newtonian vision: the human, the economy and the world are mechanical. And in a mechanical world you You have systems that have parts. Parts that you decompose, analyze and put back together. On the other hand, the ecological economy is based on an organic vision. Systems have no parts, but participants, who are not separable. Which means that everything is intrinsically linked and related. This is already a message that quantum physics has been giving us for more than 90 years, but that message has been slow to reach the social sciences ".

The economist and former rector of the Bolivarian and Austral universities, listed "five fundamental postulates and an inalienable value principle" that should sustain the ecological economy or any other new economic system: "Postulate number one: the economy is to serve people and not people to serve the economy; two: development has to do with people and life, not with objects; three: growth is not the same as development, and development does not necessarily require growth; four: none economy is possible regardless of the services provided by ecosystems, and five: the economy is a subsystem of a larger and finite system that is the biosphere, therefore, permanent growth is impossible ".

"And the inalienable value principle that a new economy must sustain is that no economic interest, under any circumstances, can be above reverence for life. If you go through these points you will see that what we have today - in the neoliberal economy - It is exactly the opposite. Today we reach the extreme, the beginning of the 21st century, where there are more slaves than there were before the prohibition of slavery in the 19th century. Serious slaves, not figuratively, of the of which 60% are children and the rest, mainly, women, "he concluded.

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