Early economists believed that a growing economy was a sound economy. Growth was used as a ruler to measure the health of the nation, corporations, markets and all social constructs. But it is impossible to always move forwards. In reality, a growing economy goes through cycles of growth and depression, showing a waveform on a graph. An economy without depression forms a bubble that will burst in the future, bringing a greater economic crisis. Simply put, “sound economic growth” is only achieved by the concept of two steps forward, one step back.
We have reached a point where we cannot grow despite having the potential to. Perhaps there will be no further economic growth. Only a continuous state of balancing powers will remain. A sound society, a sound nation, a sound worker… those are things that do not damage the surrounding environment or become damaged by it. We should no longer try to conquer nature and space. Instead, we must integrate with nature and the universe. Our only slogan is harmony. There should be an entwining of the external and internal world and we must live with modesty not violence. Human beings will become one with the universe. Mankind will meet an age of stability where we do not strive for the future or reach for faraway goals. Mankind will live a simple life in the present. Only then will mankind finally attain happiness.
(from The Encyclopaedia of Relative and Absolute Knowledge by Bernard Werber)