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Growth Fetish

4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  97 ratings  ·  11 reviews
At last a coherent new set of ideas for critics of economic rationalism and globalisation. Hamilton argues that an obsession with economic growth lies at the heart of our current political, social and environmental ills – and offers a thought-provoking alternative.

‘Right on target, and badly needed’ Noam Chomsky

‘Every now and then a book that is perfect in timing and tone
Paperback, 288 pages
Published April 20th 2004 by Pluto Press (first published January 1st 2003)
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I found this book satisfying for a number of reasons. Firstly, it was lucidly written and clearly explained, with the structure but not the jargon of academia. An excellent combination. Secondly, it brought together a great many thoughts I’d seen articulated elsewhere and/or thought myself in a cohesive whole. Thirdly, I agreed with basically everything in it. The discussions of feminism could have been more nuanced, otherwise I think Hamilton got it right. It is incredibly unusual for a book ab ...more
A seminal work in building the movement toward a truly sustainable world of post-growth, steady-state economy, and the rejection of rampant-consumer capitalism and instrumentalist vision of the natural world.
Paul Fleckney
This is an extremely important book that I think everyone should read. The first 4 chapters provide a very effective demolition of the current capitalist-consumerist growth obsession that pervades every inch of our lives. The book as a whole is highly readable, insightful and engaging. There's very little here that I don't agree with or does not make sense to me apart from some of the feminism discussion which could have been more nuanced I feel.

I only gave it 4 stars because I feel at times Ham
Aug 07, 2011 John marked it as to-read
Across the mainstream political spectrum, from "liberal" to "conservative", by Republicans and Democrats, it is accepted without question that "growth" (economic growth) is a good, indeed that it is *the* good - the measure of the success of a social or political system. Clive Hamilton dares to question, and indeed dismantle, this assumption in "Growth Fetish". Not only will endless "growth" inevitably collide with the constraints of a finite world; Hamilton adduces evidence that it has not been ...more
I found reading this book a disturbing experience. Not because it revealed things I was unaware of, but because it limits the things I am aware of within a frame of language and persisting divisions which are unhelpful to bring about the required insight to lead to effective change.
What disturbs me is that the intelligence and energy required to bring about such change, or at least play a large part within it, seems to be wasted in so many inappropriate or inadequate studies and analyses.

There i
Very convincing in his argument for the personal and social benefits of simplifying life, but does not address the larger question of how we are to achieve a scaled-down society without creating a lot of problems in the meantime. It is, perhaps, significant that the author is Australian and thus does not have to deal with the US problem of health care being tied to a 40-hour/week job with a large corporation. Personal fulfillment in the USA is a luxury open only to those with the financial abili ...more
In my view this is a must read for all those climate change deniers out there.
Check out my full review at
A sobering examination of the emptiness of our modern consumer culture.
It is making a lot of sense so far.
Incredible book.
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“In the marketing society, we seek fulfillment but settle for abundance. Prisoners of plenty, we have the freedom to consume in stead of our freedom to find our place in the world.” 9 likes
“People buy things they don't need, with money they don't have, to impress people they don't like.” 4 likes
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