By Jonathan Gershuny
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Extra info for After Industrial Society?: The Emerging Self-service Economy
Many writers have argued convincingly that physicallimits may be avoided by an appropriate combination of technical innovation and social reorganisation. 6 Recently Recendy however the debate has been reanimated. Social Limits to Growth by Fred Hirsch argues that the ultima ultimate te limit on economic growth is not AFTER INDUSTRIAL SOCIETY? 5° physical, but is rather a result ofthe social nature of consumption. He states: Where the social environment has a restricted capacity for extending use without quality deterioration, it imposes social limits to consumption.
Ninety-eight per cent of its helicopters! Eighty-one point ni ne per cent of its refrigerators! etc. etc. (pp. 185-6) The answer to this, in the radicals' manifesto, is al already ready familiar to us: the engineers and managers, and bureaucrats, almost alone among men of high er intelligence, have continued to of man improves in direct relation to believe that the condition ofman the energy and devices for using energy put at his disposal. Without regard for the changes in human life patterns, ways of increasing efficiency are constantly being introduced.
In Pala maximum efficiency isn't the categorical imperative that it is with you. You think first of getting the biggest possible output in the shortest possible time. We think of human beings and their satisfactions. (Huxley, lsland, p. 154) A BUDDHIST ECONOMICS? 39 and more generally: Lenin used to say that electricity plus socialism equals communism. Our equations are rather different. Electricity minus heavy industry plus birth control equals democracy and plenty. Electricity plus heavy industry minus birth control equals misery, totalitarianism, and war.