I know I have amongst my readers a diverse collection of pinko commie liberals, capitalist pigs, dirty hippies, god-bothering republicans, and bloody-minded anarchists. So, in the noble interests of comment-whoring, I thought I’d throw out some debate fodder.
So. Sustainable development. Permaculture. Getting off the grid. Living in harmony with nature. Eschewing packaged goods made by multinational corporations. Avoiding GM foods. Consuming no more than you produce.
On the one hand, it holds the promise of making us less dependent on exhaustible resources. It can mean a higher overall quality of life. It frees us from the guilt of depending on exploitive labor practices here and in other countries.
On the other hand, it means withdrawing from an economic network which supports hundreds of millions of lower-income workers at home and abroad. An economic machine that has, in some cases, revolutionized entire countries in a single generation from third-world dictatorship to thriving, wealthy democracy. It means withholding our capital from a vast swath of farming, manufacturing and services industries. It can mean eliminating our demand for products which may be some poor families’ only stable source of income.
So in the final analysis, from the global perspective, is pursuing this way of life moral, or immoral?