If we create a culture that promotes well-being and prosperity for all,
then we will be in a position to discover who we really are.
                                                 Martin Seligman

Geoff Mosley
Australian Director of the Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy.

A steady state economy is an economy with a relatively stable, mildly fluctuating product of population and per capita growth (see www.steadystate.org).

Obstacles

The major obstacles to those working for a transition to a Steady State Economy are:

a) The present Endless Economic Growth (EEG) system is totally dominant and major changes to it would be fiercely resisted by those who benefit most from it;

b) At this stage, relatively few people are aware of the Steady State Economy (SSE) and its benefits and it is not part of mainstream political dialogue;

c) When more people do become aware of the SSE the size of the task of making the change will most likely appear to many to be impossible, many of the current trends are in the opposite direction to the SSE and resisting them is taking up a lot of the environment movement’s time and effort; and

d) Unless it is clear to everyone where we are going and that a full change will need to be achieved over time there is the possibility that half measures will have the converse effect of making the present EEG system appear more acceptable. The misuse of the term ‘sustainability’ (e g ‘sustainable economic growth’) is confusing the issue.

The EG system must be progressively changed

To create a favourable environment for these changes we must:

a) Stress the faults in the existing system in terms of: i) it being fundamental flawed (endless EG in a finite planet), leading to a likely eventual disaster for life on earth if not ended; ii) its unfairness in terms of today’s society and the future (stealing from the poor and from future generations); and iii) the lack of safety from inevitable warring over resources;

b) make it clear that the transformative measures whilst steps in the right direction are only that, and that until the EEG is completely replaced the threat of catastrophe remains;

c) engage people with visions of a better, fairer, more sustainable society, of which SSE is a key part.

We must make people more aware of the possibility of a Steady State Economy

A major part of the strategy for change must be making more people aware of the SSE. This includes developing a better understanding of what it is, its benefits, and how it can be achieved. The SSE needs to be talked about in every forum including the mainstream media. The recommended transformative steps need to be clearly tagged and clearly recognisable and identified as steps towards the SSE destination, for instance a move away from fossil fuel dependence would deliver benefits for sustainability beyond those of reducing the threat of climate change.

The goal of a Steady State Economy is comprehensive

Different parts of society are likely to be interested in different parts of the SSE agenda. For instance: a) changes to governance with a move in the direction of localised self government and participatory democracy (e.g. referenda and the introduction of other deliberative democracy processes); b) changes in trade to with a move to greater levels of resource self sufficiency and self reliance through the restriction of overseas trade and through community action to defend their environment; c) helping others around the world move towards their own SSE models involving self sufficiency and self government free from exploitation and inequity; d) stabilising population by limiting immigration to levels similar to emigration; and e) the making of better provision for public transport.

I invite you read the CASSE position statement and sign it, if you are so moved.

http://steadystate.org/CASSEPositionOnEG.html