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They can put on plays, concerts, sing-alongs, and puppet shows instead of Super Bowl halftime shows and Internet porn videos.
They can make things of quality by hand instead of stamping out a million things guaranteed to fall apart next week.
They can do physical labor instead of watching television.
They can build compact walkable towns instead of suburban wastelands (probably even out of the salvaged detritus of those wastelands).
But there is a clear synergy between the mismanagement of our money and the mismanagement of our politics.
(For a brilliant gloss on this phenomenon, read Ben Hunt’s essay “Magical thinking” at the Epsilon Theory website.) One way out of this quandary would be to substitute the word “activity” for “growth.” A society of human beings can choose different activities that would produce different effects than the techno-industrial model of behavior.
They can organize ten-acre farms instead of cell phone game app companies.
The fate of this order has nothing to do with our wishes or preferences.
It’s going down whether we like it or not because it was such a violent anomaly in world history and the salient question is: how do we manage our journey to a new disposition of things.
None of these alt-activities would be classifiable as “growth” in the current mode.