Current forms of capitalism demand the continuous creation of new industrial sectors, for both supply-side and demand-side reasons. Partly derived from the nature of technology, which often exhibits economies of scale, and partly from actors searching for investments in R&D to reduce production costs, increasing returns in the production of goods and ser-vices are responsible for any resulting increases in productivity. The system is thus sustainable in the long-run only if the advent of new sectors favours the absorption of excess labour-supply and generates new income. On the demand side, consumerism has created the conditions for the continuous increase in the goods and services perceived to be needed by consumers. Whether this dynamic balance is sustainable in the long-run is highly questionable. On the one hand, consumers might face the satiation of their needs. On the other hand, a constant increase in the production of goods and services requires a corresponding increase in the use of resources, engendering harmful production externalities, such as pollution, and in the disposal of old artefacts. This paper identifies the main mechanism underlying the structural dynamics that have steered the way along this path during the century-old shift from craft- to mass-production. Focusing on Scitovsky’s idea of creative consumption and the relevance of active public policies and an educational turn for fuelling it, the paper attempts to offer a suggestive solution on how the path may be reversed.

Aldo Cedrini, M., & Guerzoni, M. (2019). Ars Ultima Spes? Some Notes on the Unsustainability of Today's Capitalism and Culture as a Possible Remedy. In A. Chai M.C. Baum (a cura di), Demand, Complexity, and Long-Run Economic Evolution (pp. 69-89). CHE : Springer [10.1007/978-3-030-02423-9_5].

Ars Ultima Spes? Some Notes on the Unsustainability of Today's Capitalism and Culture as a Possible Remedy

Marco Guerzoni
2019

Abstract

Current forms of capitalism demand the continuous creation of new industrial sectors, for both supply-side and demand-side reasons. Partly derived from the nature of technology, which often exhibits economies of scale, and partly from actors searching for investments in R&D to reduce production costs, increasing returns in the production of goods and ser-vices are responsible for any resulting increases in productivity. The system is thus sustainable in the long-run only if the advent of new sectors favours the absorption of excess labour-supply and generates new income. On the demand side, consumerism has created the conditions for the continuous increase in the goods and services perceived to be needed by consumers. Whether this dynamic balance is sustainable in the long-run is highly questionable. On the one hand, consumers might face the satiation of their needs. On the other hand, a constant increase in the production of goods and services requires a corresponding increase in the use of resources, engendering harmful production externalities, such as pollution, and in the disposal of old artefacts. This paper identifies the main mechanism underlying the structural dynamics that have steered the way along this path during the century-old shift from craft- to mass-production. Focusing on Scitovsky’s idea of creative consumption and the relevance of active public policies and an educational turn for fuelling it, the paper attempts to offer a suggestive solution on how the path may be reversed.
No
Scientifica
Capitolo o saggio
Capitalism; Creative consumption; Structural dynamics; “Cost disease”;
demand; consumption; sustainability; culture;
English
Demand, Complexity, and Long-Run Economic Evolution
978-3-030-02422-2
Aldo Cedrini, M., & Guerzoni, M. (2019). Ars Ultima Spes? Some Notes on the Unsustainability of Today's Capitalism and Culture as a Possible Remedy. In A. Chai M.C. Baum (a cura di), Demand, Complexity, and Long-Run Economic Evolution (pp. 69-89). CHE : Springer [10.1007/978-3-030-02423-9_5].
Aldo Cedrini, M; Guerzoni, M
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10281/290771
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