The greed for growth. No price too high?


Theoretically, we have known for a long time that money and objects do not make you happier at a certain point. The US psychologist Abraham Maslow used his pyramid of needs to illustrate that we need to meet physical and psychological needs such as food, warmth, shelter, social closeness and a sense of security. But it seems that people today have much more than these needs.

The growth mania of our time is like the thirst of a person who drinks seawater to quench it.

Today, a 20-year-old car is considered to be ready for the scrap heap, and a mobile phone without a touchscreen is considered to be antiquated. Our modern society seems to have succumbed to a completely wild greed for growth. Whether export, economy, number of employees or range of goods – everything should grow constantly. Why? We are living beyond our means, consuming dwindling resources for things we don’t really need in order to live a worthwhile and carefree life. In order to be able to afford all this, many people spend precious time in stressful jobs instead of with friends and family. The price they are willing to pay for this is increasingly dissatisfaction and mental illness. Whereas 20 years ago such diseases were almost insignificant, today they are the third most common diagnosis group for sick leave and incapacity to work. However, for many people, the only measure of a successful life is the ability to buy a new car or smartphone every few years. How did it come to this?

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